Men’s tennis looking to build in 2016

Men’s tennis looking to build in 2016

By Chuck Tidmore

Sports Information Assistant

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon men's tennis team opens its season on Saturday and is looking to continue last season's success.

Huntingdon opens the 2016 campaign against Tougaloo at 9 a.m. in Jackson, Miss. and will end the day against Millsaps at 2 p.m.

Second-year head coach Charlie Osten is hoping Saturday will get the team ready for the rest of the season.

"We want to get the first-match jitters out of the way," Osten said. "Tougaloo will be a good opening match and Millsaps is going to be a tough one. But if we play hard and win some matches, it will be a good day for us."

Coming off a 12-6 record last season, the Hawks have several holes to fill in their lineup. Huntingdon graduated three seniors and lost its No. 1 (Bobby Foroughian) and No. 2 (Sebastian Riveros Florez) singles players. Osten is depending on his underclassmen to step up.

"Our seeding is pretty much set," Osten said. "John Jones will lead us this year, which is a big step up from last year for him. We have some guys that didn't play last year that will play this year, so it's a big jump for everyone."

Jones finished his freshman season with a singles record of 5-6 and a doubles record of 5-2.

Seniors Trey Pirtle and Aaron Triplett will also be called upon to lead the Hawks. Pirtle finished 2015 with 2-5 singles record and 13-3 doubles record. Triplett finished with a 10-6 singles record.

In two seasons as a member of the USA South Athletic Conference, Huntingdon has compiled a 14-3 conference record and a 25-10 overall record.

The Hawks were picked fourth in this year's USA South preseason poll. Huntingdon finished with a 7-2 conference record last season and fell to Methodist in the semifinals of the conference tournament for the second straight season.