ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure University men's tennis team opens its 2018 fall schedule at the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, MD Friday, Sept. 28.
Head coach Michael Bates returns six players from last year's roster. Joseph Blakeley, John Rutkowski, Jonni Heikkila, Lukas Linden Malmberg, Indra Patwardhan and Ante Zovko return for the Bonnies' 2018-19 season.
The Bonnies will look to replace their No. 1 and 2 players from last year, however, Bona has plenty of experience coming back from last year's roster.
"We lost Victor Blanco and Hector Martinez," Bates said. "Obviously losing your number one and two is tough, but we need some guys to start stepping up here. Indra is the only senior so he is going to have to step up and take on that leadership role. He has been more outspoken in recent years, but is doing a good job of stepping up so far."
Patwardhan, the lone senior on the Bonnies roster, led the team last year with 12 wins in doubles play. He was second on the team a season ago with 10 singles wins. Malmberg had eight wins in singles and doubles a season ago, while Rutkowski grabbed nine wins combined in singles and doubles action. Blakeley appeared in one singles match and four doubles matches last year, while also running cross country last year.
Heikkila and Zovko were spring roster additions for the Bonnies last year. Zovko picked up five singles wins and eight doubles wins and was also named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on March 19. Heikkila saw action in four singles matches.
D'Angelo joins the Bonnies from Moon Township, Pa. and was a two-time high school section champion, while winning the United States Marine Corps Athlete award. Estevarena and Rivolo both hail from Argentina. Estevarena is from Buenos Aires and he was a Grade 2 and 3 National Champion. Rivolo comes from Cordoba and was ranked as high as 25th in the Argentinian rankings.
"Finding doubles teams for this year is going to be a little bit of a challenge," Bates added. "We do not have any doubles pairs from last year returning, so it will be important for the new guys to come in and get to work. We focus on doubles at practice almost every day."
The Bonnies fall schedule includes a trip to the ITA Regionals and the Army Invitational. This year's ITA Regionals take place Oct. 11-13 at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. SBU's last fall tournament will be the Army Invitational in West Point, N.Y. Oct. 26-28.
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