March 7 – BETHANY, W. Va. – Coming off a five-win season a year ago, the Bison men’s tennis program will look to build upon last year and look to become a contender in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference standings in 2014.
“We have captured at least five wins over the last three seasons,” remarked fifth-year head coach Andrew Sachs. “I think now is the time for us to make a serious push and reach the upper tier of the conference. I know with the players that we have in place, we have a chance to accomplish that goal.”
One of the key returners for Sachs’ squad is senior James Peterson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain). Last season, Peterson spent the 2013 season as the Bison’s No. 1. He was the only player to appear in No. 1 action for Bethany last year, posting four victories. He also played well at No. 1 doubles. When paired with Dustin Maiolo last season, the duo posted a 9-6 record, which included a 4-2 mark against PAC opponents.
“James has gotten better in every season that he has been a part of the program,” remarked Sachs of his lone senior. “If he continues to work hard this year, we could see his numbers from last season greatly improve.”
Getting the nod at No. 1 singles this season will be freshman David Camacho (Harlingen, Texas/Tuloso-Midway). Camacho has had a solid offseason for Bethany, and is someone that Coach Sachs believes can step up big for the Bison this season.
“David has done a really nice job of shaping himself into a highly competitive collegiate player,” remarked Sachs. “I don’t think I have coached a harder working player in my five years here, and it will be fun to watch him get out on the court.”
With Camacho playing at No. 1 singles, Coach Sachs has the option of moving Peterson to the No. 2 role in the upcoming campaign. The two will also pair together at No. 1 doubles to begin the season.
Taking over at No. 3 singles will be Jared Roque (Munster, Ind./Munster) who is in his third season with the program. Last season, Roque made his mark at No. 4 singles, where he was the lone Bison to post a winning singles mark, capturing an 8-7 record.
Joining Roque at No. 2 doubles will be sophomore Kyle Booker (Forest Park, Ga./Forest Park), who will also be playing at No. 4 singles. As a freshman last season, Booker posted five wins at No. 5 singles. The pair of Booker and Roque also notched five victories at No. 2 doubles a season ago.
“Having Jared and Kyle back will be good for the team,” said Coach Sachs. “Both of them will be playing up a flight in singles play, which is something that they are more than capable of doing. Also, keeping the two of them together in doubles play will help them both, as they played together through the entire 2013 campaign.”
Rounding out the singles lineup will be freshman Marcus Hooks (Stamford, Conn./Brien McMahon) at No. 5 singles and junior Dylan Schooley (Washington, Pa./Trinity) at No. 6. The pair will also team up for No. 3 doubles during the campaign.
“Both Marcus and Dylan have a chance to be highly competitive this season,” remarked Sachs. “They have both been working extremely hard, and they have the ability that it takes to win some games for us this season.”
The Bison will open their 2014 campaign with two home contests. The first will take place on Monday, March 10, when Bethany opens play against Frostburg State at 4 p.m. The team will then take two weeks off before hosting Presidents’ Athletic Conference foe, Waynesburg University, on March 25 at 3:30 p.m.
“Overall, I think that this team has what it takes to reach the upper tier of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference,” commented Sachs. “We are in a highly competitive league, but I believe that if everyone comes to work hard, we will find ourselves in the mix by the end of the year.”