Men’s Tennis Opens Season at Navy Blue Invite
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The men's tennis team begins the fall portion of its 2011-12 campaign this weekend at the Navy Blue Invite.
Friday, the Bonnies will play tournament host Navy at the Tose Family Tennis Center – moved inside due to inclement weather – in a 2 p.m. matchup. Bonaventure then plays Atlantic 10 foe Temple at 2 p.m. Saturday and ends the weekend with a 9 a.m. Sunday meeting with Binghamton. The matches against Temple and Binghamton are expected to take place on the United States Naval Academy Tennis Courts, but inclement weather may move them to the Tose Family Tennis Center.
Sunday's match will mark the first time since the 2009 Cornell Invite that Bonaventure will play Binghamton, while the Bonnies and Owls will meet for the first time since an A-10 Championship second-round match on April 8, 2006.
While teams will play each other at the event, there will be no team scoring; however, individual matches will count toward a player's record. Individual champions will be awarded based upon the flight in which a player is in – for instance, the No. 1 singles player will be in the top singles flight.
The Bonnies, led by head coach Mike Bates, begin the season without three graduated seniors – Second Team A-10 and ITA All-Academic members Enric Larregola and Mikhail Sudakov, as well as First Team A-10 selection Chris Post.
Junior Oscar Yanez heads the group of returning players, leading the team last season with 13 singles wins from the No. 5 position. Sophomore Elliot Fanshel is coming off nine singles wins in the No. 4 slot and seven doubles victories last season – second-best of returning players in both categories. Fellow second-year player Javier Ortiz and his team-leading nine doubles wins (primarily with Yanez and returning junior Luis Guevara) also return for Bates. Guevara won five singles and six doubles matches in 2010-11.
On the doubles side, the only partnership returning from last season's A-10 Championship will be Guevara and Ortiz. Fanshel lost partner Post due to graduation, while Larregola and Sudakov also graduated.
The Bonnies will welcome a trio of newcomers to the team: sophomore Mihai Ene and freshmen Trevor Haskell and Miguel Suarez.
Last spring, the Brown and White won five of their last seven matches to end the regular season with an 8-10 mark. The Bonnies then finished sixth at the A-10 Championship last April in St. Louis, dropping a 4-0 decision to Charlotte in the fifth-place match.
Guevara impressed in the A-10 Championship, winning from the No. 6 singles spot and No. 3 doubles spot (with Yanez) against Fordham in a first-round match.
Individually, Yanez enters the season having won five of his last seven matches that have been played to completion (he was down 4-6, 3-5 to Charlotte's Alex Weber in the A-10 fifth-place game last season before the 49ers clinched the victory, thus scrapping the match).
Fans planning on attending the Navy Blue Invite cannot park on the Naval Academy's grounds; instead, they must park at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium or take a shuttle bus into the academy. For information can be found here.
After this weekend's event in Annapolis, the Bonnies will return to action Sept. 30-Oct. 2 when they host the SBU Fall Invite.