The 2009 Coastal Carolina University men’s tennis team opens the season at Campbell Friday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. The Chanticleers will then return to Conway Tuesday, Feb. 3 for their home opener, hosting Coker at 1:30 p.m. The Chanticleers return six players from last year’s squad that finished 10-12 overall and 3-3 in the Big South. The Chants advanced to the semifinal at the Big South Championship with their first tournament win since 1996, but fell to eventual champion Radford 4-0. Head Coach Chris Powers enters his fifth season and will look to senior Joseph Withers to lead the squad during 2009.
MATCH #1: at CampbellFriday, Jan. 30 – 2 p.m.Overall: 1-2
Head Coach: David Johnson (10th season)
Camels at a Glance: Campbell opened its season at the VCU Indoor Invitational going 1-1, posting a win over James Madison (3-2), but falling to Navy (3-2). The Camels then traveled to the 20th-ranked North Carolina, where they dropped a 6-1 decision to the Tar Heels. The 2009 Camels return five key players from last years squad that finished with a 16-8 overall record including sophomore Davy Sum, who was named Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year and first team All-Atlantic Sun. He will play at the No. 1 spot. Sophomore Larbi Lamzouri, an Atlantic Sun All-Freshman team member and second team All-Atlantic Sun member, will likely take the No. 2 position for the Camels.
Series vs. Campbell: In the past 14 meetings dating back to 1994, Coastal Carolina is 5-9 against the Camels. Last season, Campbell defeated Coastal Carolina 5-2 behind Sum and Lamzouri, who both won their singles and doubles matches. The Chanticleers two wins came from Dmitry Vlaskin at the No. 2 and Carlo Checchia who claimed the win at the No. 5 position.
MATCH #2: COKERTuesday, Feb. 3 – 1:30 p.m.Overall: 0-0
Head Coach: Alvin Cheng
Cobras at a Glance: Coker will open the 2009 season at Francis Marion (Feb. 1). Last year, the Cobras finished 1-12 overall and 1-8 in Conference Carolinas, earning a 7-2 win over St. Andrews for the lone victory of the season. Junior Esteban Teran will most likely play at the No. 1 spot and sophomore Juan Vallejo-Gonzalez might play at No. 2, having won four matches at the No. 3 and 4 positions last year. The Cobras had most of its success at No. 4, going 4-10 last year. Coker’s doubles spots will feature two-time All-Region and three-time team MVP Evan Schreiner, who posted three of the six doubles wins in 2008.
Series vs. Coker: Coastal Carolina has won the past five matches against the Cobras since 2001. The last time these teams met, the Chanticleers swept Coker 7-0 (Feb. 7, 2007).
CHANTICLEER BREAK POINTSChants Picked Third in Big South Preseason Poll
Coastal Carolina was picked to finish third in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll by the league’s head coaches, it was announced Thursday, Jan. 15. The defending Big South Conference champion Radford received six first-place votes and 48 out of a possible 49 points to repeat in 2009. Radford finished ahead of Winthrop, who received one first-place vote and 41 points. Coastal Carolina finished third in the voting with 34 points, while Gardner-Webb captured the fourth spot with 25 points. Liberty was picked fifth with 24 points, followed by UNC Asheville (17) and Presbyterian (6).
Withers Leading the Way
Senior Joseph Withers was named captain of the 2009 squad for the second-straight year. Withers paired up with sophomore John Hairston for the best doubles record at 13-6 and finished 10-8 overall in singles play.
NewKids on the Block
After the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s men’s tennis team was discontinued after the 2008 season, Coastal Carolina men’s tennis Head Coach Chris Powers jumped at the opportunity to get more experience on his squad. Joining the 2009 Chanticleers are senior GermanPerez and sophomore Dorian Sovic. Perez finished 12-12 in singles and 14-7 in doubles play last season, while Sovic closed out his freshman year going 12-6 in singles and a 14-7 doubles action.
That’s right! The 2009 Coastal Carolina men’s tennis team has no freshmen listed on its roster. Two transfers, senior German Perez and sophomore Dorian Sovic from Arkansas-Little Rock are the only newcomers to the squad this season.
It's All Academic
Coastal Carolina received its ninth straight ITA All-Academic Team selection in 2008. In order to be considered for the award, teams must have a 3.2 GPA or higher. Last year, the Chants posted a 3.6 team GPA. Senior David Mellis and sophomores Ernesto Ramos, Dmitry Vlaskin and Plamen Tzvetkov were named ITA Scholar-Athletes, which requires student-athletes to have at least a 3.5 GPA.
Looking for the Sweep
The Chanticleers will be looking for their third-consecutive sweep in a season opener when they step on the court at Campbell. Last year, Coastal Carolina opened the year with a 7-0 sweep, holding its opponents scoreless for the second-straight year. Dating back to 1999, the Chants have won five season-openers, three of which were sweeps.
The Fall in a Nutshell
The Chanticleers completed fall play with a 52-32 record.
Coastal Carolina Fall Shootout:
The Coastal Carolina University men’s tennis team went 17-5 in its own Fall Shootout Sept. 13 at the Billy Nichols Tennis Center. Junior Ernesto Ramos and sophomore Dorian Sovic both went 2-0 in singles play, while the Chanticleer doubles teams were 7-1. Junior Plamen Tzvetkov and classmate Dimitry Vlaskin both won a match in the Alpha Singles Flight.
Sophomore Dorian Sovic won the C-1 singles title, leading the Coastal Carolina University men's tennis team to a 16-10 record at the 2008 University of North Carolina Invitational (Sept. 26-28).
Sergio Tacchini Collegiate Invitational:
Two doubles titles for the Coastal Carolina University men's tennis team highlighted the Sergio Tacchini Collegiate Invitational (Oct. 10-12) hosted by Old Dominion. Ernesto Ramos and German Perez won the A-1 doubles flight, while Dmitry Vlaskin and Plamen Tzvetkov took home the B-2 doubles flight title. The Chants finished 15-9 overall in singles and 5-2 in doubles action.
ITA Mideast Regional:
The Chants had one of their best outings at the ITA Mideast Regionals Friday, Oct. 17 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Junior Dmitry Vlaskin defeated Andre Bubkov from UNC Greensboro 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to the Round of 64 in the main draw, while duo Vlaskin and Plamen Tzvetkov and Ernesto Ramos and German Perez paired up and competed in the doubles main draw.