LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall men's tennis opens the 2017 spring campaign with four matches in Orlando, Fla. between March 12-15. Ranked at No. 12 in the ITA's Atlantic South Region, F&M looks to qualify for the Centennial Conference (CC) Playoffs for the eighth consecutive season and crack the ITA National Top 40 after reaching as high as No. 26 in 2015-16.
To watch the season preview video, click here.
F&M enters the season with a large pool of returning talent after losing just one player to graduation. Doug Kaplan, a three-time All-CC selection, will be missed at No. 1 singles. However, three other all-conference selections return to a squad that accumulated a 15-5 record in 2016, resetting the school's single-season win record. An 11-match win streak over the middle of the season and a third straight appearance in the CC semifinals means the bar is set high again in 2017. Four newcomers will fill in the gaps as F&M sets its sights on another successful spring.
Players to Watch
Inigo Flores – Sr.
Jack Rothman – Jr.
Isaac Salas – So.
Vasant Rajamanickam – Jr.
Zack Levin – So.
Flores, named a captain for his senior campaign, looks to build on a stellar 2015-16 season that saw him compile a 10-3 record in singles and a 14-5 mark in doubles play. In addition to receiving All-CC Honorable Mention for doubles, he earned Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors for having the highest GPA among players on the all-conference team.
Rothman put together an excellent campaign of his own as a sophomore, eventually being named All-CC Second team for singles. The Old Saybrook, Conn. native finished the year with a 15-6 mark at No. 3 singles, including a 7-2 mark in Centennial play.
Salas looks to build on an excellent 13-4 campaign during his freshman season. The sophomore put together a strong performance at the ITA Regional Championships in October, winning his first two matches and making a run into the round of 16 in the Championship Singles bracket.
Rajamanickam is back for his third year after receiving All-CC Honorable Mention recognition for doubles last year along with Flores. Levin also returns for his sophomore season after competing at No. 2 singles for the majority of 2015-16.
The Road Ahead
The season begins on March 12 when the Diplomats meet Wisconsin-La Crosse in Orlando. F&M clashes with Rensselaer the next day, before rounding out the trip by taking on Macalester and Hobart on March 14 and 15, respectively.
Conference play begins with F&M's first match after spring break, hosting Ursinus at 1:00 p.m. on March 25. Big conference matches await F&M late in April, as the Diplomats travel to No. 16 Johns Hopkins (April 19) and No. 26 Swarthmore (April 22) in the same week. The CC Tournament covers the first week of May, beginning with first-round action on May 3, followed by the semifinals and finals from May 6-7.
A continued featured to the schedule is the "Add to Calendar" button, which allows fans to sync new events and updates directly in their Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, ICal and additional calendars.
Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2017 men's tennis schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.
The first ITA regional poll, announced in November, ranks F&M at No. 12 in the Atlantic South Region. Emory holds the top spot, while Johns Hopkins (No. 3), Swarthmore (No. 4), and Haverford (No. 11) also crack the top 15 from the CC.
Salas appears in the regional singles rankings, occupying the No. 21 spot.
Full ITA rankings can be viewed here.
Follow Along (Social Media)