Men’s tennis loses two top players

When the season picks up again in the spring, men’s tennis will be without two of its top competitors.

Juniors Zicheng Zeng and Lawrence Sciglitano are no longer on the men’s tennis team, according to the current 2020-21 roster. Both players did not return a request for comment.

Zeng excelled on the court his freshman season, going 16-18 as the primary No. 1 player for the Colonials. He also held a share of the top doubles pairing, notching a 12-15 record. In Atlantic 10 play, Zeng nabbed a 5-2 singles record and a nearly perfect 5-1 doubles record. He also earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors to cap his first year.

During the shortened 2019-20 season, Zeng bounced between the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Colonials’ roster, nabbing 11 wins and nine losses. He resumed his role on the top doubles pairing, finishing the season 14-9.

During his freshman and sophomore campaigns, Zeng was paired exclusively with junior Ben Barnett for doubles matches. The duo held a 26-20 overall doubles record and were the only pairing to stay together over the past two seasons.

Sciglitano nabbed a winning 16-14 singles record in his first season with GW, which included a 10-3 record in tournament play. Playing in the No. 2 doubles pairing for the majority of the 2018-19 season, Sciglitano earned a 13-19 record.

During the 2019-20 season, Sciglitano split his time between the No. 5 and No. 6 positions and posted a 12-8 singles record. He won both A-10 singles matches and ended the shortened season on a six-match winning streak. While playing doubles at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, he finished with a 12-11 record, including wins in both of his A-10 matches.

Two seasons ago, Sciglitano played doubles with then-freshman Hanyu Liu, then-junior Dennis Afanasev and then-junior Jakub Behun. Last year, Sciglitano exclusively partnered with Behun for doubles matches.

Both Zeng and Sciglitano were members of LEAPP, a leadership program for student-athletes.

The Colonials will also be without 2020 graduates Afanasev and Behun. But the squad picked up a pair of freshmen in Gabe Hurtado and Garret Skelly, ranking the Colonials’ recruiting class No. 17 among mid-major programs. The program also added graduate student transfer Nate Reekie and graduate assistant coach Agus Savarino.

The University announced July 31 that the 2020-21 season will be the last for men’s tennis, and the program will be eliminated due to financial constraints.

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