March 23, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Several newcomers and a few key returning players will lead the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's tennis team this season.
The Corsairs, who are coming off a Little East Conference championship and a first round victory in the NCAA Division III Tournament last season, will have a different look when they begin their 2010 season at Newbury Wednesday, March 24th.
UMass Dartmouth returns only senior captain Ken Sims (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford HS) and sophomore Brian Lui (Medfield, MA/Medfield HS) from the lineup that they used in last year's NCAAs. Freshman Troy Pandolfi (Danbury, CT/Danbury HS) and freshman Zach Engstrom (Taunton, MA/Taunton HS) transferred, while sophomore Mason Viau (Marion, MA/Bishop Hendricken HS/Connecticut) and freshman Karsten Rathlev (Winchester, MA/Winchester HS) did not return, and senior Chris Forster (Reading, MA/Reading HS) graduated.
"We expected to have everyone back, but with the people we lost and one of our recruit who had military service obligations, we will be without five of what we hoped would be our top seven players," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Tom Mendell. "Ken Sims and Brian Lui will probably be our top two players at the beginning of the year, and the rest of the lineup will be filled out with some of our returning players, or some of our freshmen."
The competition for spots in the lineup will be tough. " The leading contenders are freshmen Mike Giaquinto (East Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS) and Mike Parker (Scituate, MA/Scituate HS)", said Mendell. "Several of our returning players, including the Blier twins (sophomores Nolan and Trevor Blier, Westport, MA/Westport HS), (sophomore) Alex Ciampi (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford HS) and (sophomore) Robert Berg (Billerica, MA/Billerica HS) will compete for the remaining spots. Just about everyone on our team will have the opportunity to compete for playing time this year."
The schedule will be challenging, and will culminate with the Little East Conference Championships May 4th-8th. "Our conference will be tough this year," said Mendell. "I think the team to beat will be Salem State, which returns four of their top six players." The LEC Championships begin with matches at campus sites May 4th. The regular season champion will host the semi-finals and finals May 7th and 8th. The winner will receive the LEC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Championships.
UMASS DARTMOUTH TENNIS