Tennis 'Cats Ready to Start Season at Hilltopper Classic

Tennis 'Cats Ready to Start Season at Hilltopper Classic

WEST LIBERTY --  The West Virginia Wesleyan men's tennis team will kick off the season on Friday morning with doubles and singles play at the Hilltopper Classic in West Liberty.

The two day event will feature no fewer than five teams that made the NCAA tournament in the Atlantic region.

The Bobcats will join fellow regional foes Bluefield State, Edinboro, Mercyhurst, West Liberty State, and Charleston, while Davis and Elkins and Tiffin (OH) from the Midwest will complete the field. Play is scheduled to begin at 10am with two round of doubles, followed by singles throughout the afternoon and evening.

"We have a few fresh faces in the lineup this weekend, and some veteran guys are playing in new positions so I am curious to see how we will fare," said head coach Marc Walters. "The team has had two solid weeks of match play coming in, so I am confident in our physical conditioning. But it's on the mental side of things where I think we will learn more about these freshmen."

Lukas Laipold (Fr., Austria) and Alexander Lyudinovskiy (Fr., Spain) finished 1-2 in the team challenger last week, while Pierre-Oliver Bedard (Fr, Montreal, Can.) also finished among the top tive by upsetting last year's top player Nathan Sabate.

The trio will join returning players Sabate, Ramon Rodriguez, Pedro Nassar, and Ferran Berga in the lineup along with another freshman, Thomas McIntosh (GWHS, Charleston). 

"I was impressed with the level that Lukas and Alex maintained all weekend in their challenge matches," said Walters. "They were able to handle many different styles and situations through the tournament, and I liked the way they handled themselves in the tight spots. They especially held up great physically, which will make them a nice fit for our lineup since we stress the grinding style."

The event is flighted with seven singles brackets and two doubles groups playing in "A" and "B" flights. Play continues at 8 a.m. Saturday with the semifinals and finals in all events.

Pictured: Junior Pedro Nassar will compete in the "A" Doubles and #4 Singles flight this weekend at West Liberty.