Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Historical season shaping up for young, talented team

After a dominating fall season, the men’s tennis team aims to continue its success in the spring.

The Warhawks entered the spring season ranked 23rd in the ITA poll, with three players nationally ranked in singles play and three doubles teams ranked.

Junior Eric Scanlan will help lead a very talented squad into a promising 2011 season. With only on senior, the team will count on Scanlan to provide leadership.

The team opened their spring season on Jan. 22, falling to UW-Madison, ranked 29th in Division I. The team took positives from the negative outcome of the battle.

“I was happy with the way we competed,” head coach Frank Barnes said. “We played them better than we ever have played them.”

The team features a young lineup, with seven freshmen, three sophomores, four juniors and just one senior. But even with a roster so young, the ’Hawks remain confident they will succeed.

“We got the pieces together that should give us one of the best teams we’ve ever had,” Barnes said.

Freshman Byron Balkin is one of those ‘young guns,’ an emerging star for the tennis team, is ranked fourth regionally and 18th nationally.

“Our team is loaded with young talent,” Balkin said. “Having such a young lineup, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Balkin credits his teammates and their support for the success  he’s found so far in his career for the ’Hawks.

“I have my team to thank for having good results in the fall,” Balkin said. “We have a lot of great players that push each other every day of practice in a competitive atmosphere.”

Balkin is 6-1 in tournament play and 8-3 overall. In the fall, he surprised many with his run in the ITA tournament, making it all the way to the finals. He, along with the entire men’s team, look to build on their fall success and make another statement this spring.

“Our goal is to win conference again, make it to the NCAA tournament,” Barnes said. “We’re hoping to possibly make it to the final eight, and hopefully get ranked in the top 15.”

The ’Hawks will continue play this Saturday when they hit the courts against the University of Chicago.

The home opener is set for Feb. 11, against Lake Forest College at 3 p.m. in the Kachel Fieldhouse.

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Founded 1901
Historical season shaping up for young, talented team