BY DANIEL MARCUS
The men’s tennis team ended their fall season strongly on October 5, topping Grove City to finish the season at 3-1.
In their most recent victory, the Gators went 4-2 in singles play and swept doubles play to defeat the 21-time defending Presidents Athletic Conference Champion Wolverines.
An undefeated record against Division III opponents was the highlight of the Gator season.
The squad also topped Division II rival Mercyhurst and put in a solid effort in a close match with Division I Robert Morris.
Several strong individual performances marked the fall season. Standout number one singles player Patrick Cole, ’14, finished the fall season at 3-0 in singles matches.
“I knew that we only had a few matches in the fall,” Cole said. “I really wanted to make sure I gave each match everything I had and could move into the offseason without any regrets.”
Freshman Alex Hurtuk, ’15, also made a strong impression in his first intercollegiate action, finishing 4-0 in doubles play in dual matches.
He cited the chemistry between he and junior Mike Provenzano as the reason for their success.
“Ever since we started playing together we have done a good job of recognizing when one needs the other to help up them up,” Hurtuk said. “We have have a good understanding of each other’s games and continue to get better as a tandem.”
On the weekend of September 23, Cole and Provenzano participated in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Tournament, held in St. Louis.
Cole and Provenzano gained experience from the tournament and its tough competition.
“I was honored to have that experience and competing with top players from the Midwest was a blast,” Cole said of the tournament.
Now the Gators turn their attention to the offseason, which Coach Luteran hopes the Gators will use to focus on getting stronger and improving their footwork.
“The offseason gives us a chance to work on stuff we normally do not get to while we’re in season,” said Coach Luteran.
Luteran emphasized the importance of offseason improvement to his players.
This message seems to have resonated with the team, who has organized hitting three times a week and lifting twice a week.
Hurtuk seemed to believe the closeness of the team will make each player work harder.
“It is an amazing feeling being a part of the close-knit team and it makes my love for tennis continue to grow,” said Hurtuk. “Everyday, I feel an intense motivation to get better and help the team.”
Another key to the offseason is getting rid of nagging injuries and allowing other players to recover from major injuries.
Luteran emphasized the importance of recovering and recuperating in time for spring.
Coach Luteran mentioned he is hopeful of the return of sophomore Charlie Murphy, who is recovering from shoulder surgery.
The Gators hope to continue their success in the spring season which begins on February 12 against John Carroll.