Men’s tennis team ready to ace practice, prepared to have advantage in this year’s tournaments

The Guilford College men’s tennis team is ready to get things rolling after achieving their highest preseason poll ranking ever as an Old Dominion Athletic Conference team, placing third in the preseason coaches poll.

“I think we will be one of the top four teams (in the ODAC),” said junior co-team captain Levi Bruff. “If we have a good draw, we could make it to the championship match.”

The team clearly has high expectations and rightly so with an 8-2 overall record in the ODAC last season. The Quakers will try to build on that performance despite losing two key seniors from last year’s squad.

“We have a great group of players that will do their best for the team to reach its goals,” said head coach Dave McCain in an email interview. “We have a very well-rounded group.”

One of the team’s highest ranked players and team captain, Turner Votipka, graduated this past year. He was a skilled singles player and the former doubles partner of current team co-captain senior Erik Meiler.

His impact on all the team members will continue as they use the skills they developed with him to have a great season.

“Now that we have matured, we don’t necessarily need a pure singles player,” said junior Ben Levin. “We have good guys top to bottom, and that’s what makes us dangerous.”

Another factor that contributes to the competitiveness of the Quakers is that the majority of their players are veterans. There are no first-year members of the team, and most have been through at least one season already. There is only one transfer on the team this season, and he has been welcomed by the team with open arms.

The team has also been putting a lot more time in at the gym to prepare for this season. They do not only want to be able to beat you on the courts. They want to trounce you on every single athletic level as well.

On top of the team’s improvement over the past few years, coach McCain was honored with ODAC Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year in 2015. He has demonstrated an impressive amount of skill in coaching the Guilford’s men’s tennis team and is set to have another excellent season.

“Coach (McCain) has done a really good job of recruiting guys that fit together,” said Bruff. “No matter what happens, we know we are a really solid team. There are no outcasts, and everybody meshes together.

“I know I could call on any of them to do anything for me.”

On and off the court, Guilford men’s tennis team has a positive dynamic. Working out in the gym together and joking during practice keeps the team in good spirits but does not stop them from buckling down and working hard to achieve their goals.

“We all know each other really well, and we all get along really well,” said sophomore Mesa Martorell. “We are always joking in practice because we know how to play together.”

Guilford’s men’s tennis team is gearing up for a great season. As a more mature team, they are ready to show off the results of their hard work and want the students and faculty of Guilford College to see it.

The next home match of the season is on Friday, March 11, when the team will be facing off with Averett University. They hope to see some support out there.

“Come and watch matches,” said Levin. “If you have never watched a tennis match, we play good, quality tennis, and it is fun.”