Preview: Men's Tennis aims for fourth OAC Regular Season and Tournament title in last five seasons

Preview: Men's Tennis aims for fourth OAC Regular Season and Tournament title in last five seasons

By: Andrew Korba

The Ohio Northern men's tennis team is hoping to continue the recent success of the program.

Last season, Northern finished the season with a 19-5 overall record and a perfect 9-0 mark in Ohio Athletic Conference play. ONU won its third OAC Regular Season title in the last four years and also captured its fourth OAC Tournament championship in the past six seasons.

Seventh year head coach Bob Rohan is optimistic about the upcoming season. "We return a nice core of players from last season's team. We also have some newcomers that will challenge for playing time, giving us competition across the board."

Rohan welcomes back four players that earned All-OAC honors last season, led by First Team All-OAC honoree senior Do Thai.

Last season, Thai posted a 36-7 record, including a 18-2 record in singles play with a perfect 14-0 mark at No. 2 singles.

Senior Josh Saunders is also back, after being named Second Team All-OAC in the 2012-13 season. He won 35 matches last season, including 19 in doubles. He enters the season with 81 career wins.

Also returning are senior Blake Troller and sophomore John Mostowy, both of which were named Honorable Mention All-OAC. Troller enjoyed his best season last year, going 32-13, while Mostowy won 40 matches, which is tied for fourth most in single season history.

Junior Sam Prewitt is also back after going 20-5 in doubles action in 2012-13. Senior Brian Bruin and sophomore J.T. Rapaport also saw action last season and will challenge for playing time.

The Polar Bears also welcome in a host of freshman in Alex Genbauffe, Nathan Knodel, Jonathan Lisa, Alex Starr and Daniel Warren.

"We have a nice blend of youth and experience," added Rohan. "Our upperclassman know what it takes to win and know that we have a target on our back this season. We will lean on them to lead us and show the newcomers how tough a season can be."

Northern kicks off its spring season with matches against regional powers Kalamazoo (Mich.) and Hope (Mich.).

The Polar Bears will travel to Florida for their annual Spring Trip, where they will face off against Moravian (Pa.), Coe (Iowa) and Cornerstone (Mich.).

The OAC season begins on Mar. 22, when Northern hosts Heidelberg and concludes on Apr. 26, with a visit to Capital.

The OAC Tournament is slated to begin on Apr. 29 at campus site. The Tournament will commence in Mason, Ohio with the Semifinals on May 2 and the Finals on May 3, with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA III Championships.