Men's Tennis Season Preview (with Video)
CHESTERTOWN, MD -- The 2012 Washington College men's tennis season marks the first under new head coach David Donn and the first in four years without new assistant coach Adam Cranford '11 at the top of the singles line-up. Cranford, who achieved All-America status and was named the Centennial Conference Player of the Year last spring, was one of just two seniors on last year's team, which advanced to the Centennial Conference Tournament.
Senior captain Kevin Papen (Dover, DE/Caesar Rodney) is the Shoremen's top returning player. A 2011 All-Centennial Conference first-team selection in doubles and a 2010 All-Centennial Conference second-team selection in singles and doubles, Papen spent the last two seasons playing at No. 2 singles. He finished with a 10-7 record at that spot last year.
Papen is joined by Aaron Ellison (Largo, FL/St. Petersburg) and fellow captain Kyle Lisco (Toms River, NJ/Toms River North) in this year's senior class. Ellison earned first-team All-Centennial honors in doubles with Papen a year ago and split time with Lisco in the third and fourth singles spots in the line-up. Returning to the team this season after a one-year absence is graduate student Andrew Laux (Mt. Sinai, NY/Mt. Sinai) who played three years for the Shoremen before sitting out as a senior. Laux played primarily at fourth and fifth singles in 2009-10.
Sophomores Joel Novick (Cape May Court House, NJ/Middle Township) and Marc Cywinski (Brisbane, Australia/Pendleton [FL]) both saw significant time in last year's line-up. Novick played primarily at No. 5 singles, while Cywinski saw some time in the singles line-up, but was also a fixture in the doubles line-up. Junior Andy Pearson (Flourtown, PA/Springfield Township) also returns from last year's squad.
Vishnu Rajes (Yercaud, India/St. John's), Dan Boaté (West Chester, PA/Reed Henderson), and Ryan Holtschneider (Perry Hall, MD/Perry Hall) are the Shoremen's freshmen. Rajes played in the championship draw of singles at this past fall's ITA Southeast Regional Championships, while Boaté reached the final of B5 singles at the same event.
Joining Donn, whose previous coaching stops included time at Division III powerhouses Williams and Redlands, and Cranford on the coaching staff are new assistant coaches Lauren Donnelly, a former No. 1 singles and doubles player at Bridgewater State, and Conrad Olson, a former two-time All-American at Middlebury.
The Shoremen will open their spring schedule with a Spring Break barnstorming trip through Virginia and North Carolina as they will play four straight days, beginning March 12th, at Averett, Guilford, North Carolina Wesleyan, and Christopher Newport. Centennial Conference play begins March 17th with a road match at McDaniel. The Shoremen's home opener is slated for March 23rd against Bates College. Additional non-conference opponents include The College of New Jersey and Salisbury.