The Lions brushed off the dust from fall play as the team traveled to Salisbury University in Maryland for a two-day tournament. The College started spring play with mixed results, as the team compiled a cumulative 10-12 record in singles play and seven doubles victories out of 11.
It was an army of freshman that led the Lions’ assault on the No. 29 nationally-ranked Salisbury Sea Gulls.
“We have a very young and energetic team,” head coach Scott Dicheck said of his freshman filled roster. “Comparatively, with our competition, we do lack experience. But, we expect our guys to progress throughout the season and overcome that.”
At the forefront of this battle was a two- pronged attack piloted by T.J. Riley and Keith Goldstein who were both undefeated in singles play with three victories apiece.
“I was very impressed by the play of T.J. and Keith,” Dicheck said. “They are big parts of our very talented freshman class and we expect good things to come from them.”
Fellow freshman Dean Thompson also collected a pair of singles wins.
“Dean is another part of the core of strong freshman we have,” Dicheck said. “He’ll do well this year, we were very happy with his performance this past weekend.”
Doubles play was where the Lions shined, despite the fact Dean Thompson and his past counterpart, junior captain Jonathan Yu, a pairing that played its way to the NCAA regional finals earlier this year, were split up.
“One thing about our team is that we have a lot of possible doubles combinations,” Dicheck said. “Right now we’re searching to try to find our best options.”
Instead, Thompson was placed with Riley, and this pairing proved to be a success as the duo produced two victories.
Yu was placed with sophomore Dan Lee and the twosome split a couple of doubles matches. Lee also notched a singles victory in the round-robin tournament.
Steve and Stewart Hernandez, a pair of sophomores, also won a pair of matches in doubles competition as did the combination of sophomore captain Bill Carrig and freshman Jordan Cruz.
The Lions are scheduled to take the court again on Saturday in a home stand at 2 p.m. against a Christopher Newport University program that has played its way to a 4-2 record this season and is most recently coming off a victory over Division I George Mason University.
“Christopher Newport is a very experienced and talented team that has beaten a few well known Division I programs this year,” Dicheck said. “It should be a great test for our young group. It’s the type of completion we want to play and I’m excited to see what we can do.”