Men’s tennis is proving their worth

By Tyler Trumbauer
Sports Editor/Spectator

Tennis has only been reinstated for four seasons at Edinboro since it was dropped by the university back in 2003. 

In that short time though, the men’s team has put in a lot of work, qualifying for the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament for the first time in the program’s history just last season. 

The best part of it all? This upcoming year looks to be even better. 

“All the singles starters are back,” said head men’s and women’s tennis coach Lee Underwood in a phone interview last week. “We also have some good recruits too. On paper it looks like we are stronger than last year, but I bet every team in our division is stronger too.” 

Those returning singles starters, who are the likes of junior Matias Aignasse, junior Amir Talab and senior Raffaele Fusulan, all helped Edinboro achieve a 19-9 record in the 2013-14 campaign, qualifying for the NCAA tournament and advancing all the way to the Round of 16 before being ousted by top-ranked West Florida, 5-0. 

“Last year we just had a lot of guys get together,” Underwood admitted. “They all came together and contributed points for the team.” 

Coming off such a successful season, Underwood has high expectations for the upcoming 2014-15 campaign. 

“I hope to do well. This six week season in the fall does have some team impact, but what happens in the spring will really tell me about our team. I would like to do well against Walsh this season. They have beaten us the last two years and I’d like to turn the tables,” he said.

Underwood will have to wait until Sept. 23 to get his chance with Walsh. In the immediate future are the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference singles and doubles championships held at West Chester University on Sept. 13 and 14. 

Tennis is known for being mostly an individualistic sport; much like wrestling, however, Underwood likes to focus on the team competitions. 

“The singles and doubles tournaments are not as important to me as a coach,” he said. “I focus on the whole team. We’ve had some players do really well in them in the past, which is always great.” 

The team matches get underway with Edinboro’s date with Walsh University. After the USTA Atlantic Regional Championships on Sept. 26-28, the Fighting Scots host John Carroll University on Oct. 11 for their last team match before the winter hiatus. 

Tyler Trumbauer is the sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached sports.spectator@gmail.com