BANNER ELK, N.C. - Head coach Paul Goode has his team ranked 39th in the nation going into the 2009 season and is going to depend on his solid core of returning veterans to lead his six strong freshmen to a Conference Carolinas title.
Last season the team finished 13-12 overall and 6-3 in the
conference leading up to a fourth place finish during the regular
season and third place finish in the conference tournament.
Goode is going to depend on the leadership of senior, Aleksander Mojski (Berlin, Germany), junior Shaun Sumner (Burlington, N.C.) and sophomore Nandor Solymosi (Debrecen, Hungary) to propel his team to the next level.
The leading returner for the Bobcats is Solymosi who finished with a 7-2 conference record at the number one spot in 2008 and earned Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year honors.
Mojski played at the number two slot a year ago and held an 8-1 conference record. He was named to the Conference Carolinas Second Team.
Sumner is coming off his own 7-2 record at the three spot for the Bobcats in 2008 and was named to the All-Conference Honorable mention.
Solymosi and Mojski teamed up to play the number one doubles position where they went 5-3 in the conference.
These three returners will lead Goode's strong class of freshmen who all have the capability to make an impact in the lineup at anytime during the season. The six freshmen are Graham Battle (Boone, N.C.), Tyler Grove (Hendersonville, N.C.), Alexander Hayes (Mexico City, Mexico), Steve Karendal (Kernersville, N.C.), Marcelo Tatai (Sao Paula, Brazil) and Skylar Warren (Asheville, N.C.). Also new to the program and looking to make an immediate impact is sophomore transfer Marko Zivkovic (Nis, Serbia).
Goode has high expectations of this team in 2009.
"I am always trying to get the best out of each player I coach," Goode said. "I sincerely believe in this game, the best players the ones who are never satisfied with where they are."
Goode has laid out a daunting task for the team in the 2009 season with 15 of the Bobcats 22 games against Division I or top 50 ranked Division II teams. The seven NCAA Division I teams are UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Asheville, Elon, Appalachian State, The Citadel, Radford and Gardner Webb. The top 50 ranked Division II teams are 12th ranked Landers, 15th ranked Anderson University, 21st ranked Augusta State, 23rd ranked USC-Aiken, 31st ranked Limestone, 32nd ranked Mount Olive, 36th ranked Queens, and 37th ranked Tusculum.
Goode's team will open the season on the road at 23rd ranked USC-Aiken February 1st.
Pictured: Head Coach Paul Goode