NEW LONDON, Conn.-On Saturday, September 14th the Coast Guard men's tennis team will open their season at the Conn. College/CGA Tournament under the direction of eighth year head coach Jim Hazlin.
Coming off a 4-12 season and missing the NEWMAC tournament for just the first time during Hazlin's tenure, the Bears will look to return to form this season. Coast Guard will return five starters to the lineup including senior Josh Fischer, junior Jon Lightner, and sophomores Robert Renfrow, Mark Guentert, and Weston Fortna.
While there will be plenty of returners who gained key experience, competing early in their careers, the Bears will also welcome in five newcomers.
Headlining the incoming class are freshmen Bruce Kim (Honolulu, Hi.) and Harrison Ling (Johns Creek, Ga.). The Bears will also welcome four other newcomers in senior Kumar Brunhart (Chardon, Ohio), juniors David Leeman (Odenton, Md.) and Karlo Vazquez (Murray, Ky.), and sophomore Townsend Hirst (Virginia Beach, Va.). Both Kim and Ling have USTA tournament experience and they will need it as the team has to replace the loss of graduated senior captain, now Ensign, Blake Maurer.
Coast Guard is on a mission this year. Last year Fischer, the number one singles player, suffered a shoulder injury and missed the entire spring season forcing everyone to play up a level. His health will be a key to success in improving the team's win/loss record.
Another key to the season will be the play of the talented sophomore trio of Renfrow, Guentert, and Fortna. Freshmen Kim and Ling, both expected to start from the outset, will have very little time to adjust to the college game, but they both should have a great opportunity to get varsity experience.
Once again Coast Guard has put together a very strong and competitive schedule including regional and national powerhouses Trinity (Conn.), Vassar, Brandeis, and New York U. This will all come in addition to their always-tough NEWMAC schedule.
In the fall they will spend a pair of Saturdays playing in the Conn. College/CGA Tournament (Sept. 14 and Sept. 21) while also making road trips to Holy Cross (Sept. 19), Nichols (Oct. 3), and Trinity (Oct. 10).