Opening Serve: The Mount St. Mary's men's tennis team will kick off the 2012-13 campaign at the Mount Invitational this weekend in Emmitsburg. The tournament will feature four singles flights, and two doubles flights. The teams competing are the Mount, Bucknell, Loyola and Morgan State. The tournament kicks off Friday at 3:30 PM. Play continues on Saturday and Sunday both starting at 9:30 AM.
About Last Season: The Mount comes into the season after an impressive end to last year. The Mount made their first NEC semifinal appearance since 2006 after they downed the defending champ Sacred Heart. The Mount lost to Fairleigh Dickinson in the semifinals of the NEC Championships. The team finished with an 11-10 overall record, and a 4-2 record in conference.
Senior Leadership: The team returns all six starters from a year ago, which includes three seniors. Matthew Blake (Garnet Valley, Pa./Salesianum (Del.), Taylor Place (Snellville, Ga./St. Pius X), and Mike Salomon (Haymarket, Va./Seton) lead the charge into 2012-13. Blake finished last year with a 13-13 record in singles, and teamed with Place to finish 13-11 in doubles. Place had a 10-15 singles record, while Salomon had a stellar 24-5 singles record. Paul Chae (Hagerstown, Md./St. Maria Goretti) is the other senior, who had a 1-4 singles record last season.
Strength Up The Middle: The team boasts a pair of juniors and sophomores. Mike Zabetakis (Finksburg, Md./Calvert Hall), and Justin Olexa (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) make up the junior duo who saw positive playing time last season. Zabetakis played mainly at the No. 3 spot, and accumulated an overall singles record of 8-17. Olexa had a 3-3 singles record. Sophomores Adam Salam (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) and Pat McGinley (Coatsville, Pa./Coatsville) had solid rookie campaigns. McGinley played at the No. 6 spot, and finished 9-16 in singles, while Salam played No. 2 and had a 12-12 record.
Brotherly Love: Freshman Austin Blake (Garnet Valley, Pa./Salesianum (Del.) joins his older brother Matthew for the season. They are the first brothers to play together since Thad and Jastin Mostowtt played together in the 2009-10 season.
Milestone Watch: Senior Mike Salomon has 55 career singles victories and is only 18 wins away from tying the record set by Sanjaya Wijemanne from 1990-94. He is also on track to break the all-time singles dual match victories record. He currently has 42, and the record is 48 set by Jeff Lamberton. Both Salomon and Taylor Place are within range to break the career doubles wins record. The record is 49 set by Lamberton. Salomon has 41, while Place has 40.
Up Next: The Mount will travel to Shepherd to take on the Rams on Tuesday, September 18. Match time is 3:00 PM.