Chris Herrlinger and the XU men open the season Wednesday at Ohio State.
Jan. 18, 2010
CINCINNATI – The weather may be cold outside but the Xavier men’s and women’s tennis teams are warming up for the 2010 spring season. Both teams are looking to build off successful fall seasons and are looking to surpass last the successes of last spring.
The Xavier women open the 2010 slate Tuesday, January 19 at Ohio State, which is ranked No. 38 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). The XU men will play OSU on Wednesday, January 20. The Buckeye men are ranked No. 3 by the ITA and were nation runners up last season.
“It’s going to be really exciting and I know both teams are really looking forward to the challenge,” said XU head coach Eric Toth.
The Xavier women are looking to build off the success of the 2009 fall tournament season which saw freshman Katie Pleiman earn a flight championship at the Queen City Invitational October 4. She led the Musketeers in singles wins in the fall with an 8-3 mark. Senior Kaitlyn Zinn was second in singles wins during the fall slate with a 6-5 record. Freshman Kally Alkire also had a solid fall, going 6-4 in singles competition.
“I think leadership starts with our captains and Kaitlyn Zinn and Jill Ducro have been outstanding,” said Toth. “Every single player needs to step up and I think it starts with our upperclassmen and our captains.”
The XU men are looking hoping the spring season will put them in a good position to defend their Atlantic 10 championship. Xavier has won the last two Atlantic 10 titles and is looking to be the first team to three-peat since Richmond won three straight titles in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
The XU men had a solid fall with newcomer Patrick Bandy leading the way with an 11-5 record. Bandy has had an immediate impact since transferring to Xavier from Kentucky. The sophomore advanced to several flight finals and won a consolation championship during the fall slate.
Freshman Brandon MacDonald made his mark during his first fall season at Xavier. The Canadian posted a stellar 9-5 record in 2009.
“Bobby Deye had a great fall and Bandy and MacDonald had a good fall as well,” said Toth. “We need to a little better on the doubles point. We’ve got the guys to do it and it’s just finding the right combinations of guys who can get it done.”
The spring schedule will provide both teams with plenty of challenges as the XU men and women face several ranked opponents. After facing OSU, the XU women will face defending Mid-American Conference champion Miami on Friday, January 22 while the men travel to No. 14 Kentucky on January 23.
“Both the guys and the girls embrace this schedule,” said Toth. “Our out of conference schedule is really built to make our team better. We’re going to be competitive with these teams.”
The Atlantic 10 Conference will be another challenge for the Musketeers. “Richmond should be the women’s favorite,” said Toth. “On the men’s side I think we’re going to be right there,” said Toth. “I think two teams that are really going to improve this year are Dayton and Richmond.”
The XU men will host their first home match of the season January 24 against Toledo and the Xavier women will host Bowling Green the same day.