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Tennis Season Preview

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Tennis Season Preview

Image Courtesy of USTA.com

Image Courtesy of USTA.com

Image Courtesy of USTA.com

Sebastian Gould, Staff Writer

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It’s almost spring sports season again, and athletes from OP Lax, OP Track, OP Bat, OP Golf, and OP Tennis alike are tying their sneakers and packing their bags in anticipation. Kicking off this Friday, March 1, Oratory’s most active and vibrant athletic season is right around the corner. Strap on your visors and sniff that new-ball-can smell, because today we’ll be taking a forward look at what OP Tennis 2019 will look like.

Incumbent varsity players include, in no particular order, Andrew St. Amant (12), Will Moran (10), Sebastian Gould (11), Luke Bernstein (11), Paul Topazio (12), Mark Werner (12), and James Slowinski (10). Favorites among the incumbents, based on last year’s Singles ladder, are St. Amant in the top seat, Moran in the second seat, and Gould in the third seat. How the nine months of offseason may affect last year’s order remains to be seen, but there are no major injuries or other factors that stand to shake things up here. Gould’s position as third varsity singles is traded back and forth with close fourth Bernstein, and while technical rankings from last season have Gould on top, the two are evenly matched and are effectively a toss-up for this year’s third seat. Moran’s second place seat, although somewhat closely contested by Gould, is more secure. Andrew St. Amant faces less internal challenge.

However, these internal predictions are to be considered only in a relative light, as newcomers to the varsity ladder on all sides threaten the status quo. The big three potential upsetters are Santiago Cortes (12), Andrew Stauffer (11), and Thomas Donofrio (9). Cortes, easily first among JV last year, was only blocked from varsity contention by an inability to practice and shake off the rest of the offseason in time for challenge matches. Now, if given practice, he may easily reach as far as Gould or Bernstein. Stauffer and Donofrio, both in their first years as Rams, are unknown quantities. Both highly complimented in rumor, it is likely that the varsity ladder will be shaken up considerably by their debuts. Unfortunately, Stauffer is currently recovering from a wrist injury, and this may affect on-court performance if not healed within a few days. Otherwise, the 2019 OP Tennis V-squad will look very different from last year, and we look forward to watching things play out. That is, of course, if they can actually find court time for challenge matches this year.

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