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Season Preview: Men's Tennis Returns Deep, Talented Team for 2018 Season

Season Preview: Men's Tennis Returns Deep, Talented Team for 2018 Season

Preseason Team Captain's Interview

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's tennis team had a record-breaking number of players garner All-Centennial Conference accolades last spring after making the Centennial Conference Tournament for the seventh straight season and 11th time in 12 years. Expectations for the team are more of the same this year as the Fords did not graduate a single player from that talented lineup.

Haverford had a program-record four players earn All-Centennial Conference accolades in singles, while the team had two players selected as first-team honorees for just the fifth time in school history. Co-captain Josh Moskovitz played No. 1 singles last season and earned first-team All-Centennial Conference recognition after he was a second-team singles player on his way to Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year honors in 2016. He went 10-9 in singles last year with a 5-3 mark against Centennial Conference competition, including a win over the 49th ranked player in the country at the time.

Kevin Yan made it two straight years of Centennial Conference Rookies of the Year for the program as he went 5-1 against conference competition on his way to first-team All-CC accolades in singles. He played No. 3 singles and was also recognized as Haverford's Archibald MacIntosh '21 Award recipient as the top scholar-athlete in the first year class to cap a very strong start to his collegiate career.

Dais Nakayama played No. 2 singles last spring and is a three-time All-Centennial Conference performer in singles. He earned honorable mention accolades in 2017. Another of Haverford's three co-captains, he has 22 singles wins to his resume. Junior Eli Phelps garnered second-team All-Centennial conference recognition in singles as he played No. 4 for the Fords and won a team-high 12 matches, compiling a 6-1 record against conference foes.

Senior Ishaan Prinz is also a co-captain for the team and leads all current Haverford players with 32 career victories. Playing No. 5 singles last spring, Prinz was 5-2 against CC foes last year on his way to an 11-7 record. Raja Arul saw the majority of the matches at No. 6 singles, recording half of his eight victories against conference competition. However, the lineup depth goes well past six players as sophomore David Kong (7-1 career record), sophomore Rob Kresch (5-2), sophomore Arnav Patodia (2-1), junior Nick Sweeney (6-7), and senior Caleb Mayer (9-7) have also seen time in Haverford's singles lineup.

The Fords success was definitely not limited to singles a season ago as they won over 74% of their conference doubles matches. Haverford had two doubles teams recognized as All-Centennial Conference performers for just the fourth time in program history last spring. Those four occurrences have all came in the past five seasons. Moskovitz and Nakayama have both garnered second-team All-CC accolades for their play together during the past two seasons as they have teamed up at No. 1 doubles.

Sophomores Arul and Kong were second-team selections together in doubles as they were 6-2 overall when paired up, including a 4-1 mark against CC foes in the middle doubles position. Third doubles saw eight different pairings, but was the winningest spot in the lineup with a 13-6 record between those players. Kresch and Patadia had the most experience of any pairing, going 9-1 together in their rookie seasons. That included a perfect 4-0 mark against Centennial Conference competition. Prinz and Sweeney bring 18 and 10 wins, respectively, to the doubles lineup with various playing partners over the previous seasons.

Men's tennis went 10-9 last season with seven of the team's losses coming against nationally-ranked competition. Haverford finished 7-2 in the Centennial Conference to place third overall in 2017 before falling by a 5-1 score to rival Swarthmore in the conference semifinals. With that entire lineup back again this spring, the Fords will look to advance even further this spring and make their first conference finals appearance since the 2013 season. Haverford is currently scheduled to play five teams who are ranked nationally, with four of those matches coming on their home courts.