Rutland, VT – The Green Mountain College men's tennis team looks to open up its season on Friday March 16th, as it hosts the Gators of Sage College in a non-conference match at the Vermont Sport and Fitness Club in Rutland at 5:00 p.m.
GMC is coming off a 1-9 (0-6 NAC) season and will rely on the experience of six returning starters from a season ago. Seniors Samantha Tajirian (Springfield, PA), Mark Thiong'o (Nairobi, Kenya) and junior Christopher Donovan (Bedford, MA) will look to lead the Eagles in the upcoming season. Tajirian and Donovan won a combined six of the nine single matches the Eagles won a year ago and with the growth of those two starters and some fresh new faces, the Eagles will look to improve on the success of last season. In doubles matches, Laura McRee (Norwich, VT) and Donovan will look to provide leadership for the doubles teams as the pair recorded the team's only doubles victory a season ago.
Sage (0-11) is coming off a down year in 2011 which saw head coach Bruce Perry nearly replace his entire roster to the point where it is now comprised of players in their first-year of the tennis program. The lone player with experience for the Gators is senior Alex Cabrera (Kingston, NY) who missed last season. The Gators are a young and inexperienced team that will rely heavily on the knowledge and experience of Cabrera to lead the team into the new season.
This will be the second time in the previous three seasons that these two teams will have met. In their last meeting back on April 9th, 2010, Sage eked out a 6-3 victory over the Eagles in a tightly contested matchup. This season's matchup should be similar to the last meeting as both teams have retooled their rosters with similar talent, so this meeting will be an interesting measuring stick for the Eagles and the team's progression.
Following Friday's match the Eagles will be back in action March 24th when they host North Atlantic Conference (NAC) East opponent Lyndon at the Vermont Sport and Fitness Club in Rutland with a scheduled start time of 1:00 p.m. The Gators will be back in action on Tuesday March 20th at 4:00 p.m. as they travel to Castleton to take on the Spartans.