The GW men’s and women’s tennis teams come into the spring season ready to make a run at the Atlantic 10 championships.
Both squads have new head coaches – Tom Hawkins on the men’s side and Jeanne Gengler for the women’s team.
The GW men compiled an overall record of 8-14 last year and finished third at the A-10 championships; they haven’t finished lower than third in the league since 1993. The Colonials are led by a mix of veterans and young players. Hawkins’ national coaching experience and sectionally ranked juniors in the United States Tennis Association should be an asset for a squad with five freshmen out of nine players.
“Our players are young and smart, which makes it easy for me to coach,” Hawkins said.
Senior Anders Bergkvist, who Hawkins called an aggressive baseliner, will play at the No. 1 singles slot. The two-time all-conference selection will be challenged by No. 2 player junior Kent Wright. Kent prefers to serve and volley while his twin brothers, No. 3 Kevin and No. 4 Kinzie, both freshmen, favor staying at the baseline.
Mike Rozofsky is a senior baseliner at No. 5, and junior serve-and-volleyer Mike Stein rounds out the top six. Reserve freshmen Jon Davidson, Jared Rudolph and Nick Vikstrom will see limited time. Doubles teams will consist of Kent Wright and Rozofsky at No. 1, Bergkvist and Kevin Wright at No. 2, and Kinzie Wright and Mike Stein at No. 3.
“We are going to match up well against a lot of good schools because of our depth,” Hawkins said. “If we’re peaking when the tournament comes around, we can be competitive against (league champion) Virginia Tech.”
The Colonial women also claimed third at the A-10 championships last season, amassing an overall record of 8-12. The squad has finished below second in the league only once since 1992. Gengler brings impressive credentials as a four-time New York state team champion and as an assistant coach at Princeton University.
Juniors Sarine Weingarten and Ghada Skaff will vie for the top singles position. Senior Holly Huntley compiled a 12-6 record last season, primarily at the No. 4 seed, and will move up to third singles. Freshman Katarina Stastny will play at No. 4 while senior Paige Novack looks to fill the No. 5 slot. Freshmen Megan Goldsmith, Laurel Lebby, Lisa Borromeo and Ashley Lucia will contend for the final singles position.
Doubles combinations include Weingarten and Huntley at No. 1. The second doubles team will be Skaff and Stastny, and the No. 3 doubles spot is up for grabs.
“At one, two and three singles we can compete with anybody,” Gengler said. “We have very strong leadership, which makes up for the lack of experience of our freshmen.”