2013 Men's Tennis Season Preview
Kingsmen Poised for Banner Season
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – With the Division III National Singles runner-up returning as well as a bevy of All-American and All-SCIAC performers back for another season, the Cal Lutheran men’s tennis team is poised for a banner year in 2013.
“We are looking forward to having another successful season that should find us in the Top 10 nationally again,” head coach Mike Gennette said. “We have the toughest schedule in the nation so the guys will gain valuable experience throughout the season.”
Eight ranked opponents lay ahead on the Kingsmen schedule including each of the top five in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason poll.
Fortunately for Cal Lutheran, the Kingsmen return a wealth of experience. Leading the charge will be the Division III National Singles runner-up and 2012 SCIAC Tennis Athlete of the Year, Nicholas Ballou. Despite sitting out the entire fall with back and wrist injuries, Ballou rounded into form towards the end of the season winning the Ojai Tournament singles championship before making a run to the NCAA finals. The senior from Orinda, Calif. went 26-7 in 2012 including a perfect 9-0 during SCIAC play.
Ballou teamed up with classmate Ray Worley for doubles play as the duo produced a 25-5 record as a team, advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals, both earning All-America status. The No. 1 CLU doubles team combined to go 9-0 in league matches and were the Ojai tournament runner-up. Worley is a two-time All-American.
Worley also will enter 2013 as a the No. 25 singles player in the country after scoring two wins over top ten opponents in 2012.
Moving up to the No. 3 singles spot will be 2012 Second Team All-SCIAC recipient Connor Treacy. In his debut season for the Kingsmen, Treacy went 14-10 including an 11-9 mark in the SCIAC while competing as the No. 4.
Team captain Thomas Millet rounds out the upperclassmen for CLU. Millet, a former All-American at Ventura Community College, finished 18-10 last year competing at No. 5 for the Kingsmen.
Cal Lutheran will rely on two transfers and a freshman to compete for the final spots. Junior Alex Nichols joins CLU this season after competing at San Diego Mesa Community College the past two years. Nichols went a combined 38-15 in singles and 25-12 in doubles in his two seasons for the Olympians. He was also named the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
Senior Devon Belcher will also compete for playing time after transferring from NAIA Loyola University New Orleans.
Coach Gennette also expects to see freshman Sean Handley make an impact in his first year for CLU. The Dos Pueblos High School product was the Chargers No. 1 during his senior season and was also a nationally ranked United States Tennis Association (UTSA) player in 2012.
Cal Lutheran opens its season Saturday, Feb. 2 when they take on No. 14 Chapman at the Poulson Tennis center.