2011 Men's Tennis Season Preview
Williamsburg - Fresh off another impressive dual-match season in 2010, the Tribe menís tennis program will look to continue its ascent on the regional and national scene. Led by 2010 CAA Coach of the Year Peter Daub, the Green and Gold returns seven players from a squad that set a number of program standards last season. Add to that a trio of freshmen, who comprised one of the top 30 recruiting classes in the country according to the Tennis Recruiting Network, and the College has the formula to once compete for the CAA Championship and an NCAA Tournament bid.
Last season, the Tribe won a school-record tying 20 dual matches on the way to the CAA Championship match. During the regular season, W&M went a perfect 4-0 in CAA play and earned the No. 1 seed in the league tournament for the first time in program history. As a team, the College took home five of the nine All-CAA first team spots between singles and doubles. Prior to falling in the CAA Championship match against VCU, the Tribe won eight straight contests, which marked the longest win streak for the Green and Gold in more than 33 years.
Leading the way for the Tribe is senior Sebastien Vidal, who has been a fixture in the Green and Gold lineup throughout his career. The Guatemala City, Guatemala native owns 65 career singles wins, including 25 as a junior. After earning Second-Team All-CAA honors in singles as a sophomore, Vidal was one of three Tribe singles players named First-Team All-CAA a season ago. He led the Tribe with 17 dual-match victories, playing toward the top of the W&M lineup. Vidal owns three wins over nationally ranked competition over his career and last season, clinched the Tribeís CAA semifinal wins over Georgia State with a win at the No. 2 singles position.
As a rookie in 2010, Jamie Whiteford burst onto the scene and finished the season earning CAA Rookie of the Year honors, becoming the first Tribe player to accomplish the feat since 2005. He earned First-Team All-CAA and Second-Team VaSID All-State accolades in singles competition. Whiteford, who played toward the top of the W&M lineup in his first season, tallied a 22-7 overall singles mark. His 75.9 winning percentage ranked as the second-best freshman average in school history and the third-best overall.
Junior Ilja Orre, who owns 30 career singles wins, will look to become a permanent staple in the Green and Gold lineup. Through his first two seasons, Orre has shown flashes of impressive play, including a perfect 4-0 mark in CAA competition a season ago. He tallied nine dual-match singles wins and recorded vital wins in the Collegeís narrow 4-3 victories over Old Dominion and VCU. During the fall campaign, he ranked among the Tribe leaders with seven singles victories.
Sophomores Anton Andersson, Adrian Vodilsav and Daniel Mihalov will continue to make their presences felt as they push for time in the Tribe lineup. Each of the trio saw action in the Green and Gold rotation a season ago, and after solid fall performances, they will look for more time in the lineup this season. Andersson, who earned ITA Scholar-Athlete honors, battled injuries during his rookie campaign and finished with eight singles wins. He capped the season on a high note, clinching the Tribeís CAA Quarterfinal win over Drexel. During the fall, Andersson won six singles matches and won the Flight B1 singles draw at the Hampton Roads Invitational.
Vodislav, who earned ITA Scholar-Athlete honors, produced 11 of his 13 wins as a rookie in dual match competition. During the fall, he tallied a 7-4 singles ledger, including winning the Flight B2 singles draw at the Hampton Roads Invitational. Mihalov won seven singles matches as a rookie, including a 4-2 ledger in dual-match competition. He tallied a win in the Tribeís CAA Quarterfinal win over Drexel last season.
Junior Jacob Braig gives the Tribe another seasoned option in the singles lineup. The Williamsburg native was named a team captain along with Vidal prior to the dual match campaign. He won the 2009 Pride and Tradition Award. During the fall campaign, he tallied a trio of singles wins and claimed the Flight D2 bracket at the ODU Invitational.
The Tribeís freshman trio of John Banks, Ben Hoogland and Ben Guthrie each came to the College with impressive prep resumes and gained valuable experience during the fall season. Banks, who won four matches during the fall season, won the two biggest tournaments in the state of North Carolina (the North Carolina State Closed and the Tar Heel Qualifier in Boys U18) as a prep. Banks led Providence Day to its first state championship in 2010 and was a three-time all-state selection. During each of his final two prep years, he was ranked as the top player in the state of North Carolina.
Hoogland was rated No. 48 nationally according to the Tennis Recruiting Network. He placed fifth in the Illinois State Championships in 2010 after finishing second in the Chicago district. During the fall season, Hoogland led the Tribe with eight singles wins. He advanced to the semifinals of the Black singles flight in his first collegiate tournament at the UVA Fall Invitational, before earning a spot in the finals of the A-2 singles flight at the Hampton Roads Invite.
Guthrie was ranked No. 1 in the state of Texas in all age groups, and he finished his final prep season ranked in the top 20 nationally. The Tennis Recruiting Network rated him as a five-start recruit. Despite battling injuries during the fall campaign, Guthrie won a pair of matches including his first collegiate victory in his first match at the UVA Invite.
On the doubles side of the coin, the Tribe has a number of players that can combine forces in a potentially potent doubles lineup. Vidal enters his senior season as one of the top doubles players ever to don the Green and Gold. He currently ranks fifth on the Tribeís career doubles wins list and is on pace to become only the second W&M player to win 100 career doubles matches. A two-time First-Team All-CAA performer in doubles, Vidal owns a doubles winning percentage of 68.3 percent, which ranks third in school history.
Despite playing in the NCAA Doubles Championship with 2010 graduate Keziel Juneau, Vidal spent the end of the 2010 dual-match season and earned First-Team All-CAA honors playing alongside Whiteford. The twosome went 14-2 a season ago, including victories in each of their last seven matches playing at the No. 1 doubles position.
Along with first team all-league honors, Whiteford and Vidal also earned VaSID All-State second team honors. As a freshman, Whiteford won 23 doubles matches, a total that ranked seventh on the Tribeís all-time freshman list. His 74.2 percent doubles winning percentage ranks as the fifth-best freshman average in school history and the eighth-best overall in W&M history.
Whiteford also played alongside fellow classmate Andersson at times during their rookie campaigns. Andersson, who provides the Tribe with another experienced doubles performer, finished last season playing with Juneau. The duo went 15-4 and earned Third-Team All-CAA honors. In total, Andersson won 22 pairsí matches which ranked eighth in school history for a freshman.
Orre saw action in the majority of dual-matches in the doubles lineup. He tallied nine dual-match wins a season ago and owns 36 doubles wins over his career. Orre turned in an impressive fall campaign, going 7-4 in doubles competition. Last season, Orre spent part of the dual-match campaign playing alongside Mihalov. The twosome recorded an important win at the No. 3 doubles spot in helping the Tribe claim the doubles point against then-No. 15 Wake Forest. Mihalov finished the fall season at 4-1 in doubles competition.
The Tribeís freshman trio of Banks, Guthrie and Hoogland showed the ability to compete in doubles play for the Green and Gold during the fall. Hoogland and Guthrie capped the fall campaign earning Tribe Invitational All-Tournament honors together. Guthrie finished the fall at 4-2 in doubles action, while Hoogland led the team with eight doubles victories. Banks enjoyed success as well in doubles action, winning five matches. He claimed the Flight B1 bracket at the ODU Invitational, playing alongside Orre.
The Tribe can also look to Braig and Vodislav in doubles competition. During the fall season, Braig went 5-1 in doubles competition. He was a perfect 2-0 in dual matches a season ago. Vodislav has seen limited doubles action during the early part of his career, winning two matches during the fall and six for his career.
With the success of last season and an experienced lineup, the Tribe have the ingredients for another success campaign and potentially the programís 11th NCAA Tournament appearance. The Tribe is currently riding a streak of four straight seasons with 16 or more dual match victories.
Tribe mens' tennis opens the 2011 dual match season with a doubleheader on Thursday, Jan. 13.