by Damien Alarcon
High hopes and expectations were not met on Friday as the University of La Verne men’s tennis team’s match was cancelled due to rain. Friday’s match in Pasadena against Caltech was to serve as an opener for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
Tim Fitzgerald, in his fourth season as ULV head coach, is eager to see his team perform after a rough and disappointing season last year with an overall record of 0-16, including 0-10 in SCIAC.
“We are a lot stronger than last years club and have more depth,” Fitzgerald said, “but that is about all I can say. I have to wait and see when the season progresses to tell how good we are.”
Top returners include junior David Dang and senior Sergio Velazquez, who took a season off last year due to a busy and tedious class schedule.
Velazquez also adds that his intention of not playing was due to the fact that he did not want to waste his final year of eligibility. NCAA regulations restricts players from playing more than four years.
“I am [on] one of them five year plans,” Velazquez said while laughing.
Fitzgerald also looks to senior French exchange student Xavier Lattaignant for a significant contribution to the team.
“I am confident that things will be different from last year. I feel that the entire team is talented and should have some success,” said Lattaignant.
Other key players are seniors Frank Zappia, Aung Wun and junior Scott Harvey.
“We have been practicing hard for the past month and are hopeful that we can make a good showing in league, but it will be tough,” said sophomore Chris Perez. “Everyone is good in this conference and Redlands [is] the best.”
Last year, Redlands captured the SCIAC championship and this year they will be entering the season as the team to beat since they are favored in winning another consecutive title.
According to Fitzgerald, last Friday’s match was postponed and has been rescheduled for Wednesday Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. at Caltech.
The match was to be a test for the team to exercise their abilities before today’s conference opener as the squad will be traveling to Claremont to battle the Stags at 2 p.m.