Sept. 28, 2010
CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina men’s tennis team welcomes four newcomers for the 2010-11 season head coach Chris Powers announced Tuesday.
Leo Christofides, Danny Heidecker, John Karle and Yusuke Kusuda have all signed award letters to compete for the Chanticleers this season. Christofides, Karle and Kusuda will begin competing for the Chants during the fall portion of the schedule, while Heidecker will start his career in teal during the spring.
“It’s an exciting year for our program,” head coach Chris Powers said. “The seniors are leading a group of talented newcomers. Our goal is to improve every year, and I believe we have accomplished that with this group. Now, we look forward to the rest of fall and a very challenging spring schedule.”
Christofides joins the Chanticleers after turning in a 12-4 record as a junior in high school against four and five-star opponents. He was ranked as high as #807 in the ITF rankings.
“I am really excited that Leo is finally on our team this fall,” Powers said. “After a year off, it is going to take a little time to get all his guns firing, but I know he is an excellent player. He is a tricky lefty with excellent returns, and I know he is going to have a positive impact on our program. I can already see him taking a leadership role on the team.”
Heidecker arrives at Coastal following an outstanding year at Collin College, where he posted a 15-2 singles record playing at either the first or second position en route to becoming a National Junior College Champion and an All-American. Prior to his time with the Cougar, Heidecker spent a season at San Diego State and owned a 13-5 singles record and picked up a win against a nationally-ranked player. He earned a ranking of 251 by the ITF.
“Danny is a proven winner against some of the best players in the country,” Powers said. “I like the fact that he has played No. 2 on a national championship winning team and that he has quality experience in the important matches. He hits a great ball and I am excited to see him in a Coastal Carolina uniform this spring.”
Karle spent last season at Anderson College and finished with a 13-4 singles record playing at No. 3 and No. 4. During the year, Karle was named the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas men’s tennis Player of the Week after turning in a perfect 3-0 record.
“John is coming to Coastal Carolina off a very successful season at Anderson College,” Powers said. He picked up some big wins at Anderson and I know he is really excited to be making the move to the Division I level. John is a really scrappy player who gives his opponents fits with his unorthodox style of play. I also like the fact that he represents the state of South Carolina in our program.”
A native of Japan, Kusuda played last season at Savannah College of Arts and Design and went 5-4 and worked his way into playing in the No. 1 position.
“Yusuke works harder on the court than just about any player that I have coached,” Powers said. “He has a complete game and fights for every point. He is also a quality student and a very likeable young man. Yusuke represents all the characteristics of what I look for in a player at Coastal Carolina.”