Eric Toth enters his second season as head coach of the Xavier University men's and women's tennis teams, coming off highly successful campaigns in his inaugural season leading both programs.
On the heels of a breakthrough season, 2008-09 holds promise for both teams. After tallying a 16-9 record and earning its first-ever Atlantic 10 title and automatic team berth into the NCAA tournament, the men's team returns five singles and six doubles starters from last year's squad. A-10 Performer of the Year Doug Matthews and First Team All-Conference selections Chris Herrlinger and Ra'ees Ismail are back for Toth, who earned A-10 Coach of the Year honors in 2008.
On the women's side, all six singles players and each of the team's doubles pairings are back for a team that went 17-8 on the season, falling in the A-10 Conference Championship match, one win away from earning a berth to the NCAA tournament.
While last year's squads set the bar for future Musketeer teams, Toth is confident the 2008-09 editions can maintain and even exceed last season's accomplishments.
"Last year was an incredibly exciting and rewarding season in sending the men's team to the NCAA tournament for the first time and coming so close to doing the same on the women's side," Toth said. "With so many familiar faces on both teams returning, we should be well positioned to have a great opportunity to repeat on the men's side and possibly, after an outstanding performance in the conference tournament last year, finally break through with the women.
"The key to our success for the upcoming year is to remain focused on doing what's right on and off the court over the course of a lengthy season and to remain hungry for the possible rewards we can achieve at season's end. It will be a challenging season for both teams, as we play many formidable non-conference opponents, plus a number of quality Atlantic 10 opponents who are also looking to stake a claim to the conference championship at season's end."
Toth attended the University of Cincinnati and was a two-year co-captain on the men's tennis team there as well as the team MVP for the 1991 and `92 seasons. He excelled on the doubles court, earning ITA Region IV final rankings of sixth in 1993 and 12th in 1992. Toth ranks in the top ten in all-time victories at UC. Upon exhausting his eligibility, Toth served as the team's volunteer assistant coach during the 1994 season while completing his degree in secondary education.
Toth was a top-ranked junior in the greater Cincinnati area and played his high school tennis at Elder High School. He was a four-year varsity starter at Elder and was a runner-up in the 1988 3A State Doubles Tournament.
Outside of his work with the Musketeer tennis programs, Toth remains visible throughout the tennis community as a teaching professional and volunteer. He serves as the Director of Tennis at the Ridge Club and is a staff professional at Eastern Hills Indoor Tennis Club. Additionally, Toth assumes many volunteer responsibilities throughout the area and currently serves as the secretary of the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Association. He is also a member of the USPTA, the largest organization of tennis teaching professionals.