Season Preview: Men's tennis
HAVERFORD, Pa. – A retooled squad takes to the courts for the spring portion of the 2013-14 men's tennis schedule.
Last spring the Fords downed then-No. 26 Swarthmore College in the regular season for the first time in over 60 years, and in the postseason the team played its way into the Centennial Conference tournament final for the third time in the past eight seasons. Seven times during that span Haverford has reached at least the semifinals of the conference tournament.
All-American Kevin Caulfield has graduated but 2013 Centennial rookie of the year Luis Acaba returns and takes over the No. 1 slot in the singles line-up. Returners Matt Romei and Andy Dougherty will likely remain near their Nos. 3 and 4 spots with Zach Mason possibly sliding up into the No. 2 slot. Robert Homan and Sloan Millman are expected to break into the top six on a regular basis in 2014.
Doubles tandems will see new partners in at least two of the three spots in the spring. Acaba and Millman teamed up last spring and look to be sharing the court again in 2014. Romei played consecutive years with now-graduated Matthew Cebul so his partner in the middle of the doubles line-up could vary until a more permanent pairing becomes settled. Dougherty is expected to remain part of the doubles line-up and could work through various partners early in the spring, too.
Schedule: The non-conference opponents on the 2014 spring slate will challenge the Fords. Kalamazoo College and Kenyon College are strong contenders atop their respective conferences, as is Christopher Newport University. Within the Centennial the Fords are joined near the top of the Atlantic South rankings by preseason conference favorite Johns Hopkins University along with Swarthmore and Franklin & Marshall College.