This year the RIT Men’s Tennis team is setting out to improve upon last year’s record. While the past few seasons have seen more losses than wins for the Tigers, this may be the year that everything changes. They will face a lot of formidable opponents and steep competition in the upcoming months, but these passionate tennis players have been preparing to give it their all during the 2014–2015 season, which is just beginning.

The men’s tennis team started their season on September 13–14 with a weekend in Canton, N.Y., where they competed in the St. Lawrence University Fall Classic tournament. Seven schools competed in this two-day event, and it was a great start for the team’s 2014-2015 season. Second year Sebastian Vera Antelo and third year Jason Alexander both scored wins for the Tigers during the first day of the tournament, with Alexander winning 8–1 and 8–5 over Ithaca’s Charlie Vaca and Hobart’s Luke Deluccia, respectively.

Vera Antelo from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, bested Ithaca’s Elliot Solandt with a score of 8–6. On the second day of the tournament, RIT’s Chandler Daub secured a win, and consolation matches on both days went to Amos Baptiste, Andrew Reiley and Jared Raphael.

In the upcoming weeks the team will compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Championships at Hobart, and afterward they will take on teams from St. John Fisher College and the University of Rochester as the season really gets underway.

There are 14 players competing for RIT this season, and each academic year is represented. Four players – Ken Chou, Marc Lachance, Frank McGinn and Jake Stocker – are entering their fourth year as members of the team. The team members come from a variety of hometowns as well as academic programs. There are players majoring in Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Biomedical Photographic Communication and Physician Assistant, among others. The variety within RIT’s men’s tennis team creates a team that is diverse both academically and athletically, and is representative of the school as a whole. Having players with many different backgrounds come together can help teammates learn from each other and prepare for diverse opponents.

The men’s tennis team is in its sixth year and is being led by Head Coach Krystina Barnum, who also coaches the women’s tennis team. Strong direction as well as passion and dedication for the sport will hopefully pay off for the RIT Men’s Tennis team this season. Last season the Tigers ended with a record of 3–11, scoring 2 wins over Nazareth and one over Alfred University. Unfortunately, the Tigers were unable to score against powerful teams from RPI, Vassar College and St. Lawrence University, although the team often put on strong matches before falling to the opponents. Hopefully this year they will be able to keep their strength through to the end and earn a winning record. This is a whole new season full of new opportunities, and they are off to a great start.