By Dan Marcus
Thanks to pleasantly surprising starts from two newcomers, the men’s tennis team is now 9-4 as they head into the heart of their NCAC schedule.
Freshmen Patrick Cole and Charlie Murphy have filled different spots successfully in head coach Jared Luteran’s lineup, and helped the Gators to a 3-1 record over spring break.
Cole was the No. 4 singles player in the fall, but after going 8-2 before winter he has become the top singles player for the Gators. He has continued to stay hot at his new position, going 6-2 in singles and 5-3 in doubles (with Jake Allmaras, ’11). The NCAC awarded him Player of the Week honors for his performance, making him the first Gator men’s tennis player to do so.
“Pat has the mental aspect of the game down extremely well, he is very mentally tough,” said head coach Jared Luteran. “He is a scrappy player, and makes very few silly mistakes.”
Murphy suffered a shoulder injury in June that required surgery. He was able to begin practicing with the team again in December following months of rehab and despite having no experience in collegiate play, is 4-3 in singles and 5-3 in doubles. Both he and Luteran are happy and somewhat surprised by his ability to bounce back from this tough injury.
“I didn’t expect to move up the ladder, but I just went out and played,” said Murphy. “The worst that would happen is that I would have to take things a little slower.”
Following their 9-0 rout of Thiel yesterday, the team will face Robert Morris Tuesday before heading to Oberlin and Wooster next weekend.