Men’s tennis awaits NESCAC campaign

The season after winning a national championship and graduating half of the starting lineup is always a difficult one. Last year’s 16-7 campaign was just that for Head Coach Dan Greenberg and men’s tennis (1-0, 0-0 in the NESCAC). However, this spring looks ahead to a new season and a fresh start from last year for the Ephs as they head into new opportunities in competitive play.

In the fall portion of the Ephs’ season, they played one dual match and participated in the ITA Regional Championships. Their lone dual match was a home affair against Vassar College, which they won handily 8-1, giving them a 1-0 record going into the spring.

One of the most notable changes from last year to this year for the Ephs will surely be the lack of seniors on the roster. Co-captain Jose Raventos ’16 and co-captain Alexander Schidlovsky ’16, who was a starting doubles player on the national-championship winning squad from two years ago, look to lead the team this season.

The remaining juniors that are joinining Raventos and Schidlovsky on this season’s roster are Howie Weiss ’16, Brian Astrachan ’16 and Blake Mackall ’16, the former two of whom were also starting players on the 2012-2013 national championship squad as singles and doubles players, respectively.

The returning sophomores are Conrad Harron ’17,  who had a strong freshman season, as well as Rohan Shastri ’17 and Alex White ’17. The first-year trio that rounds out the Ephs’ 2014-2015 roster is comprised of Brian Grodecki ’18, Sachin Raghavan ’18 and Jordan Sadowsky ’18.

Greenberg’s initial lineup in the dual match from the fall had a singles ranking of Harron, Shastri, Raventos, Weiss, Schidlovsky and Astrachan, while the doubles lineup ranking consisted of Grodecki paired with Schidlovsky, Raghavan with Astrachan, and Sadowsky with Harron.

The spring break trip to the West Coast will provide ample time to gain experience and iron out a spring lineup before NESCAC play gets underway in April.

The men open up the spring portion of their season on Monday in San Diego, Calif., taking on Point Loma Nazarene University. Williams narrowly managed to defeat Point Loma Nazarene by a margin of 5-4 during last season’s spring break trip.

This match kicks off an eight-match stint on the West Coast before returning to the East Coast for a pair of home matches the first weekend in April against Washington University in St. Louis and Skidmore. The Ephs will then begin their NESCAC campaign, taking on Middlebury, Wesleyan, Connecticut College, Amherst, Tufts, Trinity, Bowdoin and Bates in consecutive weekends this spring.

The team is ready to demonsrate its caliber of training in competition this season. “We’ve been working hard throughout the offseason to be ready for the spring,” Raventos said. “The intensity in practices has been really good, and we’re very excited to maintain that energy throughout the season. We are looking forward to the opportunity to compete in California as we prepare for the NESCAC in April.”