2012 Season in Review: Men's Tennis
STATESBORO, Ga. – The Georgia Southern Men’s Tennis team experienced a very eventful 2012 campaign. The Eagles’ season was highlighted by their rally from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Wofford in the first round of the Southern Conference Championship. The win sent them into the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time since 2009 and marked their first victory in the tournament since 2008. The Eagles also began the season with a home victory over Mercer and notched a two-match winning streak over The Citadel and Wofford, as well as pushing SoCon champ College of Charleston to the limit in a 4-3 heartbreaking road loss.
“Our record during the regular season was not acceptable, but I am proud of the way the team kept fighting through all the adversity we had this year,” said Head Coach Nick Zieziula. “To go into the tournament and defeat Wofford in the first round after being down 2-0 says a lot about the character of this team. Our underclassmen did a good job down the stretch with their focus and their work; we need to continue that through the summer.”
The Eagles (3-20, 1-9 SoCon) were led on the court by senior captain Alain Garrido (Vigo, Spain). Garrido played in all 23 singles and doubles matches on the season, starting nearly the entire time at the No. 1 singles and doubles positions. He posted a stout 13-9 record in doubles action including a three-match winning streak to end the season over The Citadel and over Wofford and Samford in the Southern Conference Championship. His most impressive win may have been with primary partner Andrew Dromsky (Martinez, Ga.) over Davidson’s No. 57 nationally-ranked doubles tandem of Joe Schafer and Calum Gee. His and Dromsky’s success played a major part in the Eagles’ capturing of the doubles point in eight matches on the year. Garrido also notched three-set singles victories over Mercer and Florida Gulf Coast in addition to a straight-set win against Davidson. He ended his Georgia Southern career with 32 singles and 27 doubles victories. Garrido’s accomplishments on the court also carried over to the classroom, as he was named the Georgia Southern Male Student-Athlete of the Year for the 2011-12 season.
Leadership for the Eagles was also exhibited by fellow seniors Sebastien Felt (Vienna, Austria) and Derrick Davison (Peachtree City, Ga.) as well as incumbents Matthijs Verdam (Hilversum, The Netherlands) and Marco Osorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras). Felt started ten singles and doubles matches for the Eagles, registering a three-set conference win over Elon and doubles win over Florida Atlantic. Davison’s hard work and determination were displayed when he returned to the lineup to defeat College of Charleston after missing all but the final four games of the year due to injury. Verdam, the junior captain of the squad, started the year at the No. 1 singles and doubles positions before being shelved nearly two months for a foot injury of his own. He recorded three singles and five doubles victories on the season including a singles win over Wofford in the first round of the SoCon Championship. Osorio was the Eagles’ top performer in singles action, posting a 7-4 record including a five-match winning streak that will carry over into next season. The streak included five conference wins, while he also recorded two doubles victories on the year. Although the names of transfers Oliver Webb (London, England) and Alex Doherty (Marietta, Ga.) didn’t show up in the box scores, their leadership was displayed to the younger Eagles at practices and matches throughout the season.
The biggest storyline of the season was the emergence of freshmen Dromsky, Kyle Hoffman (Sarasota, Fla.), Albert Codina Sala (Manresa, Spain) and Daniel Rush (Orange Park, Fla.). Dromsky started at 21 singles and 23 doubles matches for the Eagles, seeing action at each singles position and playing 16 matches at the No. 1 doubles position with Garrido. He posted an impressive 12-8 doubles record with Garrido, 13-9 overall in doubles, including a 6-4 mark in conference and 10-6 record from the No. 1 position. He also won eight singles matches, at least one at each position except No. 1, and won four matches in SoCon action. The vast improvement of Dromsky over the course of the season was displayed when he won four of his last six singles matches, three coming from the No. 2 position, as well as winning five of his last six doubles contests. Hoffman started in all 23 singles and doubles matches for the Eagles, playing the majority of them at the No. 2 singles and doubles positions. He posted conference singles wins over College of Charleston and The Citadel and clinched the match victory over Mercer. Hoffman also notched four doubles wins in conference action. Codina Sala started in 22 singles and 13 doubles contests, most of them coming at the No. 3 positions. He ended the year on a three-match singles winning streak and clinched the match victories over The Citadel and Wofford in the SoCon Championship. Rush played in 17 singles and 21 doubles contests, notching singles victories over Mercer and UNC Greensboro as well as four conference doubles victories.
Marred by the significant injuries to Verdam, Osorio and Davison, the Eagles faced much adversity throughout the course of the season. Starting as many as four freshmen in the lineup at once, they faced early-season struggles that would be expected from such a young team. However, the hard work and tenacity of the team was evident as they learned how to win and ended the season on a strong note with their SoCon Championship success. Although losing the leadership of Garrido, Davison and Felt will hurt, the majority of the starters remain intact, and the young Eagles should only get better as they retool in the offseason and prepare for the 2012-13 season.
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- Category: Men's Tennis
- Published on Tuesday, 01 May 2012 11:56