Spring Sports Preview: Men’s and Women’s Tennis

Conor McLaughlin ‘16, Co-Sports Editor

The Dickinson tennis teams are ready to begin their season in earnest in a few weeks time. The men’s team participated in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Regionals back in October, before their first tournament of 2016 last weekend at the College of New Jersey where they fell 9-0. The women’s team got some early play in September at the Swarthmore Fall Invitational and the ITA Southeast Regionals. Both teams get back to action over spring break in Hilton Head, South Carolina where they will compete against several teams, first in a match with Ramapo on March 14.

The men’s team finished last year’s campaign 6-10 overall and 4-5 in the Centennial Conference. It was an up and down season for the Red Devils as they struggled down the stretch in conference play, losing their season finale to Franklin and Marshall. They lose two senior leaders in Erik Dinardo ’15 and Josh Kaseff ’15. Both took on many of the more important matches for the team last year and Coach John Cappabianca will have to find some extra help this season from seniors Joey Frank ’16 and Evan Davis ‘16 to replace their success.

The women on the other hand finished the 2014-2015 effort 4-10 overall and 3-7 in conference. Sarah Cantor ’15 was the lone senior on the team last season. Sydney Diamond ‘16 will fill the same role on another relatively young team. Like the men, the women faced tough opposition all season long. They lost their final four games to wrap things up and look to rebound this season.

As tends to be the case every year, the key to 2016 will be found in the younger players on the team who look to provide support and energy. Coach Cappabianca has done a stellar job of recruiting once again.

The men have a seasoned junior class led by Clark Chapman ’17. Chapman went 14-2 in singles play last season and 6-6 in doubles play with teammate Steven Kaplan ’17. For the women, Madison Parks ’17, Joana Nunes ’17 and Kerin Maguire ’17 round out the upperclassmen. Emily Sprague ’18 is also a notable player to watch. She had a strong showing at the ITA Regionals this past fall, going 2-1 and advancing to the semifinals.

Last Saturday against TCNJ, the men played through the cold weather against the Lions. The Red Devils were swept in nine sets despite a couple of valiant efforts. Evan Davis played to a tie-break in his first set before losing in straight sets. Kaplan and Frank both hung in tough against their singles opponents. Look for Kaplan to take top billing most of the time this season.

Currently both teams are continuing to hone their skills and practice hard as they await the warm beaches of South Carolina.

The men’s first home game will take place on Saturday, March 26 against Johns Hopkins. The women will have to wait until Tuesday, April 5 for their home matchup against McDaniel.