By Hillary Kane
Elm Staff Writer
The Washington College Men’s Tennis team have the bar set high as they enter their Spring 2011 season seeded 12th in the Atlantic South region Men’s Division III Preseason Rankings. Finishing last year’s season 12-6 and making it to Centennial Conference semifinals, the Shoreman have an excellent chance of surpassing last year’s efforts as a number of key players return to the courts.
In the off-season, the Shoremen have competed in two tournaments including the ITA Southeast Regionals and Mount St. Mary’s Invitational. Senior Adam Cranford reached the third round of singles at ITA’s, while at MSM’s Invitational, remaining teammates had the opportunity to show their skills.
At No. 1 singles, senior captain Adam Cranford returns for his last year playing for the Shoremen. Cranford was named All-Centennial Conference first team for the past three years while also earning All-Centennial second-team honors in doubles last spring.
“I think the season will go well for us. We have a great opportunity with the toughest schedule in years, so if we take advantage of beating the teams we have to beat, and compete hard consistently, we will do very well,” said Cranford
At No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles alongside Cranford is junior Kevin Papen. Papen received All-Centennial second-team honors in both positions.
The Shoremen are among five other Centennial Conference teams ranked in the preseason regional standings. Johns Hopkins is ranked 4th, Swarthmore 10th, Franklin & Marshall 13th, and Haverford 15th.
Led by four year head coach Dave Marshall, the Shoremen will face their first match March 13th at Averett University in Danville, VA. Our Sports Editor Katie Weida sat down with Cranford for a little Q&A:
Q: What are your expectations for the season?
A: My expectations are that we continue to improve from last year and hopefuly are in the running for NCAA’s this year. We haven’t lost anyone and are very talented so I think we have the ability to really do well this year.
Q: How have you been working to improve as a team?
A: We have been reallying working on singles and doubles match play to get everyone ‘match-tough’ for the season. There’s a big difference between hitting balls in practice than in a match under a pressure situation. It’s been important and stressed that everyone is comfortable when they start their matches.
Q: What is your personal goal as a senior?
A: My personal goal as a senior is to both make NCAA’s as a team and personally in singles or doubles. It’s always been a big goal of mine since freshman year to accomplish these things. It’s been so close each year so I’d like to finish my collegiate career with at least one, if not both of these goals accomplished.
February 25, 2011
Volume LXXXI Issue 16