Men’s Tennis Picked Second in Big South Preseason Poll
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Campbell men's tennis team earned a second place ranking in the Big South Preseason Poll selected by the league's coaches. The poll was was announced by the conference office on Wednesday.
Both Campbell and Coastal Carolina received 62 points to tie for second in preseason acknowledgement. The preseason-favorite was Radford, who garnered 77 total points, including five first-place nods.
The Chanticleers and Liberty and Winthrop, who tied for fourth with 46 votes, each earned a first-place vote. Rounding out the poll was Presbyterian, UNC Asheville, Gardner-Webb and Longwood.
In the Camels first year in the Big South since 1994, Campbell posted a 5-4 league and 11-11 overall record. The fourth-seeded Camels reached the semifinals before falling to eventual league champion Radford.
Seniors Josep Baro (Barcelona, Spain), David Clavera (Barcelona, Spain) and Ondrej Kralik (Herlev, Denmark) will be looking to close out their final spring season on a high note. Clavera held down the third slot for the Camels with an 8-12 mark, while Baro was a combined 9-12 as the fourth and fifth player in the lineup.
Two players that caught head coach David Johnson's eye during the fall season were juniors Fernando Guillen (San Louis Potosi, Mexico) and Steven Billington (Conway, Wales.). Billington compiled a 7-7 mark as he saw time at No. 4, 5 and 6.
"Fernando was a solid No. 2 for us last year and through his hard work will likely gain the No. 1 position entering the spring," said coach Johnson. "Steven came to our program last January, where he played No. 6, has played very well and may move up to the No. 2 or No. 3 slot in the lineup."
With a 14-6 record, Campbell also returns the reigning Big South Freshman of the Year in sophomore Adrien Rossignon (Arlon, Belgium), who played in the No. 1 position as the 2012 season progressed. Guillen flourished in the No. 2 slot, going 11-3 at that position and 15-6 overall.
Another player that has a bright future with the Camels is freshman Rik Van Gerwen (Valkenswaard, Netherlands), who posted a 3-5 mark during the fall campaign, and has improved entering the spring.
"We have more depth and the guys are looking solid," said coach Johnson. "We just have to figure out the right doubles combinations, so that we can put it all together. The team has worked really hard in preparation for this spring schedule."
The fall was highlighted by Guillen sweeping the round-robin competition in flight one of the Jim Causey Invitational to take the tile. Rossignon took the second flight, while Kralik notched a perfect 3-0 record to take flight seven.
Rossignon captured the A1 consolation final of the Elon Fall Invitational, while Billington reached the final of the A2 bracket.
In the Carolina Invitational, Billington had a strong showing, where he reached the finals of bracket II before falling in a close match, 4-6, 4-6.
Overall, Rossingnon tallied a 9-6 record to lead the team followed by Guillen posting an 8-4 mark. Billington had an impressive 7-3 mark during the fall.
The top doubles team during the fall was Clavera/Guillen, who posted a 10-4 record, followed by Baro/Rossignon with a 6-7 mark.
Campbell begins the spring campaign on Friday at the VCU Indoor 4x1 Invitational in Richmond, Va. The Camels open up with the Rams at 9 a.m. before facing Georgetown at 5 p.m. Morgan State is the foe for Campbell on Saturday at 9 a.m.