Banner Elk, NC--Third year head coach for the Lees-McRae men's tennis team, Paul Goode, brings a youthful squad to the court. A year of experience for five returning players will be joined by the enthusiasm of four freshmen inexperienced at the collegiate level. The Bobcats are optimistic about their chances to improve upon last year's foundation of a 5th place finish in the newly renamed Conference Carolinas (formerly CVAC) and break into the top three in the conference with the added depth of this year's squad.
Returning for the Bobcats, and expected to play in one of the top three spots, is sophomore Shaun Sumner of Burlington, NC. Sumner, an extremely dedicated, hardworking and disciplined player has worked hard in the offseason to improve his attacking game and hopes to improve on his stellar freshman year where he not only went 8-2 in conference but was also selected 1st Team All Conference for his efforts. A relentless competitor, he likes to wear opponents down with consistency and a tenacious approach to each point. Sumner brings great leadership skills to the court and will serve as co-captain alongside teammate Alek Mojski.
Sophomore co-captain Alek Mojski (Berlin, Germany), an aggressive, attacking player with exceptional strength and speed, received All-Conference Honorable Mention recognition for his work on the court last year. Those skills, along with his serving ability, heavy forehand and improved fitness and consistency from the backcourt should put him in contention to be one of the top players in the conference this season. Mojski also leads the youthful Bobcat team with his excellent work in the classroom, setting the bar high for his teammates.
Expected to challenge for the #1 spot is newcomer Nandor Solymosi (Debrecen, Hungary). Impressive workouts in the preseason have shown this freshman's passion for the game. He loves to be on the court and is constantly looking for ways to improve his game. An all-court player, Solymosi's biggest weapon is his versatility. He should prove to be an impact player for the Bobcats immediately.
Another freshman, Travis VanHoy of Union Grove, NC, is expected to fill the #4 role this season. At 6'5, this physically imposing player has also demonstrated tremendous athleticism in his attacking style of play. VanHoy, who has a great serve, loves to take the ball early and pressure his opponents into mistakes. He has worked hard to improve his net game in preseason and is expected to have a great freshman season.
Returning sophomores Romulus Teague (Hickory, NC) and Blair Propert (Gold Coast, Australia) will see time in singles action as well. Teague, an aggressive baseliner with a big serve has improved both his fitness and movement over the past year which should place him in a position to better his record from last year. Propert, a baseliner who has improved his strength and conditioning along with his net game and will add depth to the lower part of the lineup.
Another returning player for the Bobcats is Paul Muenow (Fort Mill, SC). He is an all-court player whose serve and forehand will both be an asset to him on the court.
Michael Ridenhour, a freshman from Mooresville, NC, brings a high energy level to his all-court game. Ridenhour will also use his athleticism along with his exceptional serve to challenge for a spot in the lineup. Preseason for him has allowed him the opportunity to improve both his forehand and net game.
A Burnsville, NC native, freshman Jessee Laughrun will use his skills as a counterpuncher to help the Bobcats out this year. Laughrun is also an athletic, quick-on-his-feet player who will be looked at to push his teammates.
"We are continuing to work hard in preseason. The key to moving up in conference standings will be our ability to win matches in doubles action. We are trying to get a little better everyday," said Head Coach Paul Goode as they head into the season.
The Bobcats kick off the season with a doubleheader on February
2nd when they play host to Milligan College at 9:00am then travel
to Asheville, NC to take on University of North