SPRING PREVIEW: Turnover in starting lineup for Juniata men's tennis no deterrent in pursuit of post-season berth
(Posted March 4, 2010)
HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College men's tennis team gets ready to begin its 2010 season overcoming losses from the previous year. The team lost four players - Casey Chew, Ryan Navarro, Aaron Rhodes, and Jonathan Skoner - from the 2008-09 campaign due to graduation last May.
"We lost four seniors which is two thirds of our lined-up, but we've filled in the spots this spring. The guys have gone through a major growth spurt," said Head Men's and Women's Tennis Coach Beth Bleil
Although the line-up still has possibilities for place movement, the roster was generated in the fall season. Jarrad Silver (Bethesda, Md./ Walt Whitman), Arnab Chakrabarti (Alpharetta, Ga./ Alpharetta), Tucker Good (Gettysburg, Pa./ Gettysburg ), Brice Morey (Enola, Pa./ East Pennsboro), and Scott Andrew (Hollidaysburg, Pa./ Altoona) will all be competing for the top spots.
"Our lineup is determined in the fall, however there are students studying abroad that we take into account when they return for the spring semester," said Bleil. "The group has become a lot closer and more cohesive," said Bleil. "They seem to be enjoying themselves."
Silver was a 2008-09 First Team All-Landmark Conference Singles selection and was also named to the First Team All-Landmark Conference Doubles team with his partner Chakrabarti. He posted a record of 11-9 in singles last season mostly in flight two, and 9-10 in doubles at the number one spot. This fall Silver moves up to the first spot, filling the shoes of Jonathan Skoner.
Chakrabarti, Silvers doubles partner of Silver, was abroad this fall. Chakrabarti's earned a spot on the First Team All-Landmark Conference Doubles in 2008-09 with a record of 8-11 in the one spot. He posted a singles record of 9-10 mostly in the fourth position, and was 4-4 in Landmark play.
Good, a sophomore, brings experience to the roster after playing in the three spot in the 2008-09 season and at the second singles this fall. He will be a major contributor competing for a top flight.
Morey and Andrew kicked off their first season this past fall. Morey saw action in three singles going 2-2 overall. Andrew played in the number four singles and in the one spot for doubles partnered with Silver.
"The team seems to be older and wiser, even from the fall season. They've grown a lot and are more comfortable with each other," said Coach Bleil.
While the competition in the Landmark Conference men's tennis is equally matched, Bleil predicts to earn a playoff spot in the Landmark post-season.
"The teams are evenly matched with talent," said Bleil. "Susquehanna will be a pivotal match for us, and they are a strong team."
Doubles will be the men's strength in their matches. Silver and Chakrabarti will be partners for three years in a row at the first spot, and the team is among the elite in the conference. The younger players are stepping up their game and may join Silver and Chakrabarti in the conference rankings.
In the singles game, the men are improving their technique and shots, while staying aggressive and confident in their abilities.
The men's tennis team begins its spring season Monday, March 8, at 12:30 p.m. versus Eastern Nazarene on its annual spring break trip to Hilton Head, S.C.
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