Thomasville, NC- The Anderson University men’s tennis team has been voted by the league head coaches as the CVAC’s preseason top team.  Since joining the CVAC in 1999, the Trojans are 74-5 in league play and have lost just two league matches in the last five years.  In those five years they have also collected four out of five CVAC tournament championships and four out of five CVAC regular season championships while winning both titles last year (16-5, 10-0 CVAC). 


Anderson’s head men's tennis coach Rodrigo da Silva will miss three starters from last year's team. But da Silva, entering his second season at AU, is confident his preseason nationally No. 23 ranked, rebuilt team will be ready to face one of the most challenging schedules in school history.  “We lost our No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 from last year, but we have three new players who are very good,” da Silva said. “I think we have a very deep team.”


Three veterans – Andres Weisskopf (Cuena, Ecuador), Carlos Sanches (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and Srikrishna Ramanathan (Chenna, India) – are expected to provide stability at the top of the line up.  The newcomers are Stephan Fehske (Hagen, Germany), Jose Augusto Gaspar (Sao Paulo, Brazil), and Renato Assuncao (Sao Paulo, Brazil).


“The goal is to win the CVAC again,” da Silva said. “We’re playing the hardest schedule ever. We’re playing just one unranked team outside of the conference. The schedule will either make us or break us. If we can win a couple of those matches, we could break into the top 10.”


The Barton College men’s tennis team, ranked No. 29 after the fall season in NCAA D-II, opens a new era this spring under the direction of first-year head coach Brian Mastin. The Bulldogs return five of six starters from a team that was runner-up in the CVAC in 2005-06 (23-7, 9-1 CVAC). Leading the way should be seniors Brent Ching (Ontario, Canada) and Brandon Simmons (Elkins, WV), who teamed up to be one of the nation’s top doubles tandems last season. Seniors Robert Jenner (England) and Nikola Andjelic (Serbia/Montanegro) also return to a talented lineup. Two other returnees will be joined by a freshman and a transfer who should be impact players.


“I am excited to be here and have inherited such a great team,” Mastin said. “We have set up a strong schedule, which I’m hoping will make us better with each outing and lead to some success in the postseason.”


The Limestone College men's tennis team had one of the best seasons since joining NCAA Division II last year, as the squad earned its first national ranking and highest finish ever in the CVAC (17-10, 6-3 CVAC). Limestone returns All-CVAC honoree Peter Elsborg and Christian Munn, who missed most of last season with a back injury. The team has also added two new players.  The Saints had a successful fall season, competing at the ITA Regional and the CVAC Individual tournament. The Saints are also ranked in the FILA Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason national rankings coming in at No. 35.


Mount Olive College also ranked in the national Top 40, coming in at No. 38 nationally and fourth in the CVAC preseason poll. The CVAC had four teams place in the national poll heading into the spring season.


Rounding out the men's tennis preseason poll 4-11 were:  Mount Olive, Pfeiffer, Queens, Lees-McRae, Erskine, Coker, and St. Andrews respectively.


CVAC Pre-Season Coaches Poll (1st place votes in parenthesis)

1.         Anderson University                      (7)           78

2.         Barton College                                (3)           73

3.         Limestone College                                          65

4.         Mount Olive College                                        57

5.         Pfeiffer University                                          41

6.         Queens University of Charlotte                      40

7.         Lees-McRae College                                        35

8.         Erskine College                                               29

9.         Coker College                                                  22

10.       St. Andrews Presbyterian College                  10


2007 CVAC “Preseason Players to Watch” List

(As selected by the member institutions)


Name:                           School:             Year:    Highlights:

Carlos Sanches              Anderson           Sr.        ’06 All-CVAC 1st Team

Srikrishna Ramanathan   Anderson           Jr.

Brent Ching                   Barton               Sr.        ’06 All-CVAC 1st Team & Fall singles champ

Robert Jenner                Barton               Sr.        ’06 All-CVAC 1st Team

Nikola Andjelic               Barton               Sr.        ’06 All-CVAC 2nd Team

Duncan Grew                 Coker               Sr.        Two-time All-CVAC Honorable Mention

Tim Morton                    Coker               Sr.

Guilherme Rebollo          Erskine

Alek Mojski                    Lees-McRae       So.

Sean Sumner                 Lees-McRae       So.

Peter Elsborg                 Limestone          So.       ’06 All-CVAC Honorable Mention

Christian Warnholtz        Limestone          Fr.

Guillherme Serra            Mount Olive       Jr.         Two-time All-CVAC Honorable Mention

A.J. Flores                     Pfeiffer              So.

Frank Pouchet                Pfeiffer              Fr.

Vivek Yadav                  Queens             Jr.         ’06 All-CVAC 2nd Team

Jonathan O'Rourke         Queens             Fr.