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ISSUE 121 VOL 16 PUBLISHED 4/11/2008

Spring Preview, Men's Tennis: Experienced athletes

By Matthew Simenstad
Contributing Writer

Friday, April 11, 2008

With nearly two-thirds of the season completed and the playoffs fast approaching, the men's tennis team will rely on their core of veteran players to carry them through the remaining weeks.

"We are a team with a lot of playing experience," coach Scott Nesbit said. "For the past three years, we have been a young team, but now we are mainly juniors and seniors."

Captained by Drew Erie '08, who has played in every match during his four years, the team features four seniors and three juniors who all have made significant past contributions. They return virtually all of their key players from 2007, including Ian Pray '09, who has been playing in the top singles spot all season and is part of the team's no. 1 doubles duo with Nick Crnkovich '09.

The team started off the year in February with a win indoors against Macalester. Since then, they are 2-2 in conference play, including a convincing 7-2 win at Concordia on March 16 to conclude the indoor portion of their schedule. They enter the heart of the MIAC season on pace for a berth in the six-team playoffs at the end of April, but have battled injuries and illness throughout the year.

Brian Tolly '10 is out for the year after knee surgery in March, and Patrick Curran '08 has also sat out for an extended period of time.

Seniors Eric Brandenburg and Erik Brekke will also be relied upon for their experience during the stretch run, as will David Narvaez '09, who teams up with Erie as the no. 2 doubles tandem. The Oles are also hoping to get some quality play from first-years David Shiell and Will Mitchell.

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