There comes a point during a college career when a team knows that their time has come. This year, Florida Southern tennis has arrived.
The FSC tennis team has returned nine players, and five out of their top six.
Led by top players senior Benoit Paradis from Quebec City, Quebec, and junior Emanuel Lueber, Tiengen, Germany, the team’s goals are high for the fall season, as well as the regular season.
The tandem of Lueber and Paradis finished 15th nationally in doubles, and sixth in the south region with a 14-11 record.
Paradis earned first team All-SSC honors, and posted a team best 16-8 record in singles, going 15-6 at the number two spot.
Lueber posted a 9-13 record in singles, going 7-11 at the number one spot.
“Our goal is to finish top 10 in the country in doubles,” Lueber said. “We felt like we were close last year, when we had match point against the number three doubles team in the country from Lynn, but we think we’re ready.”
The duo has high expectations this year, and it all starts at their first two tournaments in Huntsville, Alabama at University of Alabama-Huntsville and ITA South in Pensacola.
“We’ve never played this tournament in Alabama, so it will be nice for all of the guys to see some new competition,” Paradis said. “As for the ITA, it’s the most important tournament, and I think that making the quarterfinals in singles for both of us would be awesome, and I think that winning the whole thing for doubles would be a great result.”
Coach Trey Heath is excited about the core that he has coming back with seniors Paradis, Nathan Leavitt, Vladamir Barabash, Tony D’Angelo. Juniors Lueber, Charles Garneau, Austin Comings, Carl Lundberg and sophomore Luke Palmiotto.
“For Benoit and Emanuel, I would expect them to shoot for top 10 in doubles nationally,” Heath said.
Heath also has high expectations of the other players.
“I have seen Carl go from being a passive player to embracing the idea of pushing people around the court,” Heath said. “I have seen Vlad go from being outside of the top 10, to playing in the top six consistently for us last year. I also think that Nathan can be that dark horse guy for us, he was beating the 19th ranked player in the country when he was on. ”
Despite any disappointments that the team had last year, Heath is optimistic.
“We had one bad loss as a team last year,” Heath said. “With the current squad, I think we can finish top 20 nationally as a team. If we eliminate that bad loss, we have a good shot at accomplishing that.”
In short, men’s tennis will be a force to be reckoned with, not only this fall, but come springtime as well.
Photo courtesy of fscmocs.com