New season introduces fresh wave of talent

Kaitlin Gallagher

By Kaitlin GallagherStaff Reporter

At first glance the men’s tennis team may not appear to have the most promising season ahead of them. With no seniors and only four juniors, this year’s team is dominated by underclassmen. In spite of their youth, the Wildcats believe they can still be successful. “I’ve got a gut feeling that we’re going to do really well this year,” says co-captain Dimitri Chimerakis said. While the scores from last weekend’s tournament may not have been what the team had hoped for, all 12 team members are ready to use this weekend as a starting point to improve their game. On the first of the two-day tournament hosted by Bloomsburg University, the Wildcats opened up with doubles play. After the team had only one win against Bucknell, sophomores Brian Maher and Matt Krawczyk pulled off a 9-8 tiebreaker against the host team. Teammates Scott Fahrendorf and Charlie Farmer followed suit with an 8-3 victory of their own. Fahrendorf kept his momentum going on the second day of the tournament when he prevailed over his Bucknell opponent in a 6-3, 6-4 win. His winning streak almost continued into a third match against SUNY Binghamton. In a hard-fought match, Fahrendorf lost in a third set super breaker. (A super breaker is a 10-point tie breaker used in place of the usual third set.) Also falling in heartbreaking third set tiebreaks were junior Sean Daly and freshman Brett Tobin. Daly, a transfer student from Wheaton College, Massachusetts, joins Villanova’s team after making a strong impression at Wheaton. During his two-year career at the Division III school, Daly led his team to a top-25 national ranking. He adds a new dimension to Villanova with his fiery personality and natural leadership. Although ‘Nova is a new school for him, Daly has a sensation of déjà vu. After two years of playing for different teams, Chimerakis and Daly have been reunited as doubles partners, a position they fondly remember playing together in junior nationals during high school. “We were a little rusty,” Daly said of his doubles match with Chimerakis this weekend, “but I know that in time we’ll get better. We know each other’s game.” Despite less than perfect results from this weekend’s tournament, these young athletes are looking forward to a promising season. “After this weekend it is very apparent how close we are,” sophomore Brian Maher said. “We support each on and off the court.” Maher is one of six returning players and already is excited about the improvement he has seen over last year. “There were only eight guys on the team last year, two of whom were injured,” Maher said. “Fatigue set in as the season went on and I think that really hurt us.”However, Maher will be the first to admit that he does not foresee fatigue being an issue this season. In addition to 12 healthy players, this year’s team has something else working to their advantage: a triathlete. Sophomore transfer student Matt Krawczyk joins the Wildcats after one year at LeMoyne College and brings with him a whole new level of intensity. “He’s an animal.” teammate Sean Daly said. “He ran a triathlon the day after tryouts.” With new faces and a new attitude, the team and upcoming season is full of potential.”The fall season is a time where you see what you need to work on,” Daly said. “You see how you’re playing so that you can improve your game for the spring.”On Friday, Villanova travels to Providence for the Northeast Intercollegiate tournament.