Men's tennis serves up four weekend opponents
January 31st, 2006
by Andrew Kinney, Staff Writer
Playing host this past weekend to the Larsen Bowker Shootout, a two-day event featuring several other universities from along the East Coast, the Virginia Tech men's tennis team started the 2006 season on the right foot as it easily went undefeated in all four of its scheduled matches.
In fact, of the team's victories over Austin Peay, St. Bonaventure University, University of Maryland-Baltimore County and Charlotte, only one match was lost, a feat that impressed head coach Jim Thompson.
"Overall, I think we did very well," Thompson said. "The teams we faced were pretty strong, and I think that helped our inexperience. Obviously we're a young team, as we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing, so any added experience helps."
Of the group of younger players that Thompson mentioned, one that particularly stood out over the weekend was Alexei Sergeev. During the tournament, the 5'10" sophomore from Moscow won all four of his matches, including two doubles victories and a singles win while filling-in at the number one spot against Maryland Baltimore-County.
"It was a pretty tough tournament, because we had to play a lot of matches," Sergeev said. "We were just trying to start the season off right by playing a good amount of matches, which really helps our inexperience. I think that as the season goes on though, we will get better, especially because there is so much room to improve."
Another bright spot of the weekend tournament was the play of Arvid Puranen, a 6'1" junior who considers himself, "A good all-around player," and regularly represents the Hokies at the top-ranked singles spot. Currently ranked No. 98 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, Puranen finished the weekend with a 2-1 record, yet was critical of himself in his lone defeat, a close 6-3, 3-6, 6-10 loss to Charlotte player Roy Sichel.
"It was disappointing to lose, but (Sichel) played very well," Puranen said. "Overall this past weekend served as valuable experience to bring with me into the season, and I hope to improve so that we can do well as a team."
The Hokies will look to continue their recent success Wednesday as they play host once again in a double-header against American University and James Madison University at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center.