February 18, 2013

CCC Men's Tennis Pre-Season Poll Released

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Nichols College has been tabbed as the favorite to win the 2013 men's tennis championship for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), it was announced today by Commissioner Gregg M. Kaye.

Voting for the preseason poll was conducted among the league's head men's tennis coaches.

Defending CCC Champion Nichols (18-4, 8-0) received all nine first-place votes in the 2013 CCC preseason poll. Roger Williams University was selected by the coaches as the runner-up in the conference. Eastern Nazarene College was slotted in the third spot, while Endicott College was picked fourth, and Western New England University was selected to finish fifth by the coaches.

Ninth-year Nichols head coach Paul Brower's lineup features five out of seven All-CCC honorees from last season's 18-4 campaign that ended in the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championship second round. The Bison are highlighted by last season's CCC Rookie and Co-Player of the Year Brandon Roode and graduate student captain David Drucker. Roode, tabbed the region's 12th-ranked men's tennis student-athlete, paired with first-year Eduardo Irizarry this fall to post a 4-1 record in dual matches, including a 9-8 victory over MIT's Edwin Zhang, ranked 15th in the region as a singles student-athlete, and Matthew Skalak. In CCC play last season, Roode was 6-1 in singles action, while Drucker was 5-1 in both singles and doubles. Senior Justin DeLuca is currently riding an 11-match winning streak in CCC doubles play including an 8-0 ledger in 2012 and a career 13-0 mark in CCC singles action.

After falling to number one seed Nichols in the 2012 CCC Championship match, Roger Williams is looking to finish the season with its first conference championship since 2011. Head coach Neil Caniga saw the Hawks finish the 2011-12 season with a 10-8 overall record (7-1 in CCC play) and will look to improve upon their finish. The Hawks will look to key returning sophomores Zack Bussiere and Ryan Swanson, and returning senior Jason Pacino, all of whom received All-CCC honors last year. RWU will also welcome back graduate student Kevin Erikson, who missed the 2012 season due to injury.

Eastern Nazarene (14-8, 6-2) is led by the 2012 CCC Coach of the Year Cris Popa who enters his 10th season. Senior Austin Steelman headlines the Lions' returners after being named the CCC Co-Player of the Year last spring while earning All-CCC first team honors. Sophomores Sam McKay-Corkum and Sam Son also return after garnering All-CCC honorable mention as freshmen.

First-year head coach Jeremy Howard takes over an Endicott (10-12, 5-3) men's tennis program that has been to the conference semifinals in five of the past six seasons without one championship appearance. Howard will look to a trio of seniors in three-time All-CCC honoree Olivier Joggi, 2012 All-CCC Second Team Doubles winner Jake Cohen, and Benjamin Randlett to provide leadership to a sophomore heavy squad. Howard will look to implement a new competitive style of tennis and create a diverse lineup that will catapult the Gulls into CCC title contention.

Western New England (7-9, 4-4) is undergoing a youth movement in 2013 as 10 freshmen and sophomores dot the 12-player roster for head coach Jennifer Kolins. Senior captain Chris Holzinger, who returns to number one singles and doubles, and junior Tyler Unwin will provide the leadership for a team that is tightknit. Despite the youth, the freshmen have shown talent during the preseason and several sophomores saw starting time last season. In all, WNE returns four starters in singles and two more in doubles.

Salve Regina University (4-15, 3-5) head coach Kevin Pease will look to senior captains Aaron Isch and Kenneth McCormack to lead the Seahawks in 2013. Isch, a returning All-CCC performer, mans the number one spot and carries experience in winning big matches such as clinching the conference championship with a three-set victory over Roger Williams' No. 5 in the title match his freshman year.

Wentworth Institute of Technology (4-7, 2-6) head coach Eddie Davis will look to the veteran leadership of his squad to be in contention for the 2013 CCC Championship. Leading the way is senior Juan Rodriguez, a three-time All-CCC performer and the league's player of the year in 2011, who posted a 7-1 record at number one singles. Senior Dave Filar, who saw action at numbers three, four, and five, and sophomore Dylan Melnik, the Leopards' leading winner at number four, are also among six returners.

With only two returning from the 2012 roster, Gordon College (2-16, 1-7) head coach Peter Amadon will look to junior Kenny Gaudio and sophomore Mike Olszak to guide a young Fighting Scots squad through the 2013 campaign. Gaudio held down the number two singles spot all season in 2012, finishing with an overall record of 12-6 and 5-3 in conference play en route to earning All-CCC Honorable Mention accolades. He also teamed up with brother Gary, a 2012 graduate, for an All-CCC Honorable Mention nod at number one doubles.

Curry College (1-16, 0-8) head coach Richard Murray will return for his fifth season. The Colonels will have six returning players, led by senior captain Tyler Collins, senior Lucas Donaway, and sophomores Joe Berger, Cameron Chamberlain, Eric Hellberg and Jonathon Schutzman.

(Release Courtesy of the Commonwealth Coast Conference) 

2013 CCC MEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON POLL

Teams received nine points for every first-place vote received, eight points for second-place votes, seven points for third-place votes, down to one point for a last place vote. First-place votes are shown in parentheses.

TEAM

POINTS (1st Place Votes)

Nichols

81 (9)

Roger Williams

71

Eastern Nazarene

62

Endicott

54

Western New England

43

Salve Regina

33

Wentworth

29

Gordon

22

Curry

10


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