HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA - The H-SC tennis team will open their 2012 season this Friday at 3 pm against Emory & Henry College at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. The game was rescheduled from Friday.
The Tigers lost four of their top six players from a season ago, but Head Coach Murrie Bates still returns a talented squad that was picked to finish fourth in the ODAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, finishing just one point behind Guilford who took third.
Kevin Calhoun (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) resumes the role of the #1 singles player and has huge shoes to fill. The last five #1 players for the Tigers finished the season as the ODAC Player of the Year with Will Moss winning it four times and Rich Pugh winning it last season. An accomplished player, Calhoun ranks seventh at H-SC in career singles wins, but 30 of his 37 singles wins have come at the #4 and #4 flights. He earned Honorable Mention All-ODAC last year with a 10-3 record, including a win in his only #1 match.
Freshman Zach King (Henrico, VA/Mills Godwin) will look to build on a strong fall season as he begins his career at #2 singles. THis fall in the USTA ITA Southeast Regional Championships, King advanced to the semi-finals of the B3 singles flight. King defeated Brent Stevenson 6-3, 7-6(3) in the first round, which consisted of 16 players. In the quarterfinals, Kind dispatched of Alec Turner 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the semi-finals. In the semis, Andrew Gear took down King 6-4, 6-1; Gear would go on to win the flight.
Ian Sammler (Petersburg, VA/Prince George) jumps up from #6 singles in 2011 to #3 in 2012. Last year, Sammler was Second-Team All-ODAC and finished the year with an 8-3 overall record, 7-1 in conference play. Sammler has never competed at higher than the #4 flight.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth singles flights will be a hard fought competition as the rest of the five Tiger players will look to make their mark on the 2012 team. Currently, Ryan Davis (Roanoke, VA/Cave Spring) has staked claim on the #4 spot. Davis competed in two matches in 2011, earning a win at the #6 and #5 flights. In 2010, he went 4-0 with one win at #2, and in 2009 he finished with a 3-2 record.
Franklin Bowers (New Bern, NC/Arendell Parrott Academy) is currently slotted in at #5 singles. Bowers did not compete in a match last year but he earned a win at both the #4 and #5 flights in 2010. Freshman Houghton Flanagan (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park) has earned the #6 spot with strong practices in the fall and the spring.