February 2nd, 2006
by Andrew Kinney, Staff Writer
The Virginia Tech men's tennis team continued its recent success by shutting out both American University and James Madison University by scores of 7-0 Wednesday night.
Top-ranked singles player Arvid Puranen set the flawless standard for head coach Jim Thompson's team, as he was one of several players who came away with numerous match victories. Puranen was able to finish the day with an unblemished 4-0 record in match play and was content with his performance.
"During all of my matches I was extremely focused," Puranen said. "I was attacking the ball hard on every point and was playing aggressively. Overall I think I played well."
Another Hokie that played well for Thompson was freshman David Rosenfeld, a highly-recruited baseliner out of Miami, Fla. Following in the undefeated footsteps of Puranen, the successful freshman was able to accomplish a 3-0 record, which included two lopsided singles victories 6-1, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-0.
"In my first match, I focused on serving better, getting better knee bend, and exploding up into the serve," Rosenfeld said. "I also looked to getting into the court and attacking the guy more. Any short ball that I got, I came into net and attacked his weakest stroke. That wasn't my main priority though as I liked staying back and grinding it out as well. I just really tried to attack and put pressure on the guy."
Of Rosenfeld's three wins, the one that stood out the most at the end of the day was his 9-8 (7-3) victory over JMU at No. 1 doubles. While being partnered with Puranen, the freshman was able to step up late but admitted to struggling early due to his inexperience.
"I was a little nervous out there playing number one doubles," Rosenfeld said. "It sort of flustered me because I hadn't played any doubles at all this season. My head wasn't in it at times, because I had made a few errors and missed a few volleys. Arvid, though, was able to give me some tips and hints, and he really kept me up while I was getting mad at myself. His words were a big help, and it was a relief to get the win afterwards."
Also contributing to Tech's win was the successful play of Alexei Sergeev. Using big first serves and penetrating groundstrokes, the Russian sophomore was able to win all three of his matches, increasing his season-record to a perfect 7-0.
"Overall, I was satisfied with how well I played," Sergeev said. "I particularly liked how well I was serving. My first serves were really good, and my opponent really wasn't able to handle my ground strokes."
Thompson only had good words to say when speaking of his team's performance.
"Our guys played really hard and did well yet again. In singles, we looked strong and I'm looking forward to the weekend," Thompson said. "I have seven or eight really good players that can play in the top six on any given day. Right now I feel comfortable that we can mix them around, and I don't want them to feel like they're slotted into a spot. I think our guys can play anywhere in our lineup. I'm excited about that, for it shows that we have good depth."
With Wednesday's wins, the Hokies improved their season record to 6-0. The team returns back into action Saturday, as it will be hosting Middle Tennessee State at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center at 4 p.m.