EAST GREENSBORO (January 17, 2019) –The North Carolina A&T men’s tennis played in three fall tournaments and captured 16 wins in singles. Third-year coach William Crutchfield hopes that success propels his team to victories in the spring.
The 16 wins are more wins than the Aggies had all last season. The Aggies open the 2017 season Friday afternoon with a doubleheader starting at noon against Appalachian State at Elon University. They will then face the hosting Elon Phoenix at 3 p.m.
Crutchfield said the fall tournaments provided him a window into what weakness his team needs to shore up before the spring season starts. The Aggies were 1-15 overall and 1-3 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) last season. The Aggies did qualify for the MEAC tournament for the first time since men’s tennis was reinstated at N.C. A&T in 2006.
“This year I want to see the team play at a high-intensity level for five sets or five hours, whichever comes first,” said Crutchfield. “We are working with the strength and conditioning coaches to increase our team’s endurance. If we work on increasing our intensity level, I like our chances.”
The Aggies secured eight wins at their first fall tournament, the HBCU Fall National Tournament.
Sophomore Jorge Goenaga picked up singles wins over opponents from schools such as Florida A&M, Virginia State and Jackson State. Senior Nicolas Arduh had a singles win against an Alabama A&M foe, while freshman Nolan Martino was successful in capturing wins over Jackson State and Shaw. Junior Jordan Lawrence and freshman Vasil Ivanov defeated players from Shaw and North Carolina Central.
In the second tournament, N.C. A&T competed in the ITA Regionals held at Duke University. Goenaga had a big win over UNC Greensboro’s Ian Melnik. N.C. A&T then travel to Charleston, S.C., to compete in the Charleston Challenge hosted by the College of Charleston. The Aggies came away with singles wins and a doubles victory.
Arduh and Ivanov teamed up to capture the only doubles win of the fall season, a victory over Queens University. Ivanov also performed well in singles play attaining three wins over the two-day event. Ivanov got a win from each of the other three teams competing at the event including host College of Charleston, Campbell and Queens. Martino defeated players from Campbell and Queens for his two wins, while Goenaga overcame his opponent from the College of Charleston for his fifth win of the fall
“This year we are looking to lay the foundation for the years to come,” said Crutchfield. “The goal is to establish a foundation to define what Aggie tennis is and be a program that attracts some of the top players.”
Arduh, junior Hayden Faulkenbury and Lawrence and Goenaga are the returners for Crutchfield. Returning to the team, after taking a year off, is senior Kyle Scott. The Aggies also added
Ivanov and Martino as newcomers.
The schedule includes 14 matches with four home contests. N.C. A&T’s home opener is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 3 against Winthrop. The other home matches are all in March against Morgan State (18th), UC Riverside (25th) and N.C. Central (30th).