A shot at the national tournament is all the Ospreys want

Spinnaker

Typically, teams would be perfectly content with a regular season championship, but the UNF men’s tennis team is disappointed with only having that.

After winning the Atlantic Sun regular season championship last season, the team struggled in the semi-finals in the A-Sun conference tournament and fell to eventual runner-up Stetson University.

“You’re always looking to win, so this year we have to do better than we did last year,” Sophomore Beauregard “Beau” Treyz said. “At the end of the day the tournament is all that matters really … we’re all still upset that we didn’t win last year.”

“I think everybody is getting more comfortable with each other,” new head coach Adam Schaechterle said. “Our guys would be very disappointed with not winning the A-Sun championship this season, that’s our expectations.”

UNF is coming into the spring season ranked nationally at No. 74. This is the first time a UNF men’s tennis team has been ranked in the Division I preseason poll. Junior Moritz Buerchner is ranked No. 9 individually in the Southeast region.

“We were ranked last year, and I think we deserve to be a ranked team,” Buerchner stated. “I think we’re even better than 74. If we win both matches [Jan. 14 and Jan. 16], it would give us a big boost for the rest of the season.”

UNF will begin the season with a tough nonconference schedule as it starts off competing against No. 44 ranked Florida State University Jan. 14 in Tallahassee.

Two days after the match against FSU, the team will return to Jacksonville to host defending Big South conference champion and No. 71 ranked Radford.

“Florida State will be in the NCAA tournament, Radford is going to win the Big South again and will be in the tournament, and we want to be an NCAA team … so we want our nonconference opponents be NCAA teams, so we can see where we stack up and see where we can improve,” Schaechterle said.

Schaechterle said his doubles lineup for the two matches will be Julian Belair/Treyz, Daniel Sotomarino/Norbert Nemcsek and Buerchner/Leonardo “Leo” Nahar. The three pairings are the only thing set for the team going into the upcoming matches.

“The great thing about our team this year is that we’ve got eight or nine guys who can realistically win matches,” Schaechterle said. “That makes my job very difficult because only six guys are going to play … the singles lineup is going to come down to the day of the match.”

“I think it’s really good for the team because in practice we have really good competition right now. Like coach said, everybody can play. I think it’s going to help the whole team,” Buerchner said.

Josh Brannock, Sports Editor
Email Josh at [email protected]