SPARTANBURG, S.C.- The Wofford men’s tennis team will open the 2009 spring season on Saturday at SEC foe South Carolina, followed by a trip on Sunday to ACC power Georgia Tech. The Terriers enter the 2009 season with one of the youngest squads in the nation which includes one senior, five sophomores, and four freshmen. Although the Terriers are young, Head Coach Rod Ray is very optimistic about his team and the tough competition to start the year. Ray stated, “We have a great schedule. Opening with USC, GA Tech and Florida Atlantic will be quite challenging to say the least. However, I am really excited about the potential for progress that this schedule will provide. We will learn a great deal about ourselves during this time and my intention is for us to do an outstanding job competing.”
Last season, the men’s team finished with an overall dual match record of 12-11 and finished 5-4 in the Southern Conference, including a 4-3 win over then nationally ranked Elon, earning the number three seed in the conference tournament. In the Southern Conference tournament the Terriers took down the sixth seeded Citadel Bulldogs 4-3 in the quarterfinals before falling to second seeded Elon in the semi-finals 4-1.
The Terriers are led by senior captain Scott Collins. Collins compiled a singles record of 10-10 last season playing at the number two, three and four position. Joining Collins from last year’s squad will be sophomores Paul Bartholomy, Alan Donald, Michael Schecter, Ryan Byrne and Anthony Will. Schecter enters the spring coming off a strong showing in the fall tournaments in which he won the Murray bracket of the USC Upstate Fall Tournament. Bartholomy and Donald each had solid freshman campaigns last season and will look to be a force in the Terrier lineup again this season.
Newcomers for the Terriers include freshmen Danny Manlow, Stuart Robertson, Tinus van Wyk and Elliott Farmer. Manlow, Robertson and Farmer all had a solid showing against strong competition in the fall tournament season during singles play, while the duo of Robertson and Manlow also had an impressive showing in doubles action. Having such a young team, this group of freshmen will play a pivotal role in the Terrier lineup this spring.
“I really like my team. They have been great to work with and I want to do all I can to to help because there is a lot of potential. We have much to learn, but this is a very enthusiastic and dedicated team that has a bright future. We will be much better in a few weeks than we are right now. Starting the season against these strong and well coached teams is perfect for us,” noted Ray.
*Note: Tinus van Wyk is the newest member to join the Terrier men’s tennis program. Van Wyk is a native of South Africa and has enrolled for the spring semester. Head Coach Rod Ray stated about the addition of van Wyk to the Terrier roster, “Tinus is going to be a very good college tennis player and I am honored that he is on our team. Tinus is a gifted athlete and having him join our team has made us stronger. Additionally, I am equally excited that Tinus is a man of high character and that he has a strong work ethic.”