Men’s and women’s tennis season preview

The Mercer men’s Tennis team kicks off their season at Auburn on Saturday, Jan. 19 while the women begin on Friday, Jan. 25 at Alabama State.
After a solid fall season, the Bears look to continue their success throughout their spring season when winning is most important.
On the girls’ side, there are many new faces. Five out of the seven players are freshmen and the other two juniors. After hard training in the offseason, juniors Amanda Bertani and Lucie Payrat look to lead this young team to a Conference tournament win.
Last season, Payrat lead the team in wins (7), while Bertani tied for third in wins (2). Both had a successful fall season with Bertani going 3-0 at the Steve Baras Classic at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.
All five of the freshmen have much to bring to this Mercer team with high school honors such as MVP and making the All-Region team. Roxy Bartz, Isabel Dennis, Natalie Franklin, Kealee Heffner and Liza Klyachkin join Bertani and Payrat to complete the 2013 Mercer women’s tennis team.
The men have many new faces as well. With a nine-man team this season, four of the players are freshman. Anderson Scarpa and Austin Emmet will be joining the team along with twin brothers Arnav and Arsav Mohanty.
Junior Elbert Beekman spoke of the incoming talent saying, “I think that we might have a tough start to the season because (almost) all of our freshmen are in the line-up and they do not have any experience playing at college level.
“It’s a good thing we have a lot of matches before conference starts so that they can all gain some collegiate experience before conference play. Our upperclassmen can help them with this, and they already are doing so in practice.
“But matches are the best practice of course and so its good that our season is starting now and that we have a lot of matches over the next two months.”
At the Duckworth Family Fall Tennis Classic in Clemson, S.C., Arnav Mohanty won two matches to advance him into the final bracket before losing a 6-1, 6-2 decision to Clemson.
Last season, sophomore Vincent DeLise was tied for the team lead in singles wins (10) and was the team leader for men’s doubles victories (10) playing in the No. 2-3 slots.
Along with DeLise, seniors Peter Tauchner and Victor Dias and juniors Elbert Beekman and Joao Pagan will join efforts to have a more successful season than 2012.
“We should definitely be able to do better this year than last. We just missed out on making the conference tournament last year, but we should make it to the tournament this year and then we have just as much chance to win as any of the other teams there,” said Beekman.