No. 34 Rollins (0-0) vs. No. 33 Flagler (2-2)
No. 34 Rollins (0-0) vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith (0-0)
No. 34 Rollins (0-0) at. No. 42 Florida Tech (2-1)
WHEN | WHERE:
FC: Tuesday, February 15, 2017 – 3:00 p.m. – Martin Tennis Complex
UAFS: Thursday, February 16, 2017 – 3:00 p.m. – Tiedtke Tennis Courts
FIT: Saturday, February 18, 2017 – 10:30 a.m. – Melbourne, Fla.
The Tars will open the 2017 season, Coach Ron Bohrnstedt 15th with the program, this week. The Tars will host two schools to Winter Park including a top-35 opponent, before they will travel to take on a Sunshine State Conference foe.
TRACKING THE TARS:
Rollins comes into the season ranked No. 34 nationally and No. 9 in the south region. The Tars were projected to finish fourth in the SSC. Last season the Tars struggled with injuries before starting to find their stride late in the year. Rollins’ 2016 ended in the second round of the SSC Tournament to top-seeded Saint Leo. This year the Tars return seven players while welcoming seven newcomers to the roster.
Senior Patrick Sell returns for his senior season, looking to improve on a junior campaign during which he performed mostly out of the second position. Sell, a senior captain, and freshman Sami Kirberg team up to create the No. 7 doubles pairing nationally and the No. 2 doubles pairing in the south region. Sophomore Ziad Melhaoui and graduate student Ahmed Albitar went 6-1 and 11-8 respectively in 2016, and will look to make a further impact in 2017.
TRACKING THE SAINTS:
Flagler opened their 2017 campaign with a victory over No. 35 Florida Southern, before falling in back-to-back contests, 6-3 against Embry-Riddle and 8-1 against No. 7 Barry. The Saint rebounded to take a competitive 5-4 match over No. 46 Palm Beach Atlantic.
Herman Gertmann enters the year ranked as the No. 24 player nationally. The German is 2-2 in the Saints’ first four matchups, including a win over No. 11 Carlos Gomez of Barry, playing out of the number two spot. Fellow German Lukas Storck has risen to the No. 18 spot in the southeast rankings, and teams up with Willy Hasselberg to form the No. 6 doubles partnership in the region.
TRACKING THE LIONS:
Arkansas-Fort Smith is coming off a 2016 season during which they went 3-15 overall, and 2-3 in Heartland Conference action. The Lions season ended in the first round of the conference tournament when they fell 5-2 to top-seeded St. Mary’s.
The Lions make the trip to Winter Park with a very young team. One junior, Grady McCain, provides the experience for Arkansas-Fort Smith. Last season McCain amassed a 5-12 singles record, a 4-13 doubles record, and was named to the All-Conference Team. He is joined on the roster by two sophomores and three freshmen.
TRACKING THE PANTHERS:
Florida Tech, who were picked to finish fifth in the Sunshine State Conference Preseason Poll, have started the season 2-1, losing their season opener to Saint Leo, 8-1, before picking up convincing wins over Carson-Newman and Eckerd. The Panthers came into the season ranked No. 42 in the nation and No. 10 in the south.
Junior Aria Canadell has picked up a pair of singles and a pair of doubles victories in the Panthers two wins this seasons. His doubles partner, fellow junior, Ricardo Corona also registered two singles victories, playing out of the first position.
Rollins will return to the road for one contest next weekend. The Tars will head to Miami Shores to take on No. 7 Barry, the match is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.
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