Season Preview: With combination of youth and experience, men’s tennis looks to take Big East

IMG_9349Last season, the Georgetown men’s tennis team had, by all rights, a fairly solid season, finishing in 7th in the Big East Tournament. But this year, Coach Gordie Ernst believes that the team has the ideal “combination of experience and youth that will push them over the finish line”—taking first place in the Big East. The team has many returning players, including senior captains Casey Distaso and Andrew Dottino, who provide valuable veteran leadership for the team. They are coming off of two back-to-back winning seasons, and this chemistry and experience continues in this current team.

Unfortunately, the team does have to deal with the loss of former captain Charlie Caris, who earned all- conference honors last year. “Losing [him] is certainly a loss, but we have guys ready to step in and fill that void,” Ernst said. Freshmen on the team will have to step up following the lead of Caris, who Ernst described as the ideal freshman recruit, along with Distaso, who has also  improved his game throughout his career at Georgetown. The team has four freshmen, in what Coach Ernst described as “the best recruiting class the men’s team has had in the last couple of years”,  as exemplified by Yannick Mahlangu, the first true five star recruit to be brought into the program.

“What we have is we have guys in every [class], freshman through senior, that have the ability to play on the team. The competitiveness that we have on the court … is something that is going to make us … the best team that I have ever had here,” Ernst said.  Distaso believes that this competitiveness could be the edge that wins close matches.

The team plays at the Farnsworth Invitational at Princeton this weekend to kick off  the fall season. The invitational is a valuable experience for freshmen to see how they do in collegiate competition, as they all have the opportunity to play in matches. These matches also serve as a tune-up for returning players, as well as an opportunity to gain valuable experience for freshman to prepare for the more important spring season which culminates in the Big East tournament.

With the mix of experienced veterans and talented new freshman, the men’s tennis team is poised for a great season. The first opportunity to see both the men’s and women’s tennis teams play at home is the Georgetown Classic, from September 20 through the 21.

Photo: Georgetown Voice

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