SEASON PREVIEW: Panthers Men's Tennis To Open 2018-19 Season Hosting Alfred Friday

SEASON PREVIEW: Panthers Men's Tennis To Open 2018-19 Season Hosting Alfred Friday

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford men's tennis team will open its 2018-19 season Friday hosting Alfred at the outdoor courts on the campus of St. Bonaventure.

Head Coach Susan Schenfield is entering her 10th season at the helm of all things Pitt-Bradford tennis. Schenfield was responsible for founding both the men's and women's tennis programs in 2008.

"The 2018-19 men's team is primed to hit the courts to avenge last season's tough losses with what is undoubtedly the most important weapon we can have—patience," Schenfield said. "It will be with consistency that will allow us to play a patient, winning brand of tennis."

Back this season are seniors Matt Dennis, Jacob Volz and Jeffrey Kocjancic, junior Drew Patla, and sophomore David Ta.

A season ago, Dennis captured the second-most singles wins on the team with four, three of which in the No. 5 spot. Volz spent most of last season playing No. 2 singles and picked up three wins and also played in the top doubles spot, earning five victories. Kocjancic picked up a pair of singles wins last season. 

"While the men have solid leadership at the top, it's our program's depth that we need to make an impact this season," Schenfield said of her returners. "Our strength this season is that we are a patient team that will push each other. With the experience and talent meshing, the freshmen will be the key to maintaining the depth necessary to compete at the highest level."

Newcomers this year looking to integrate with the returners include junior Brandon Charnisky (Bradford, Pa.), and freshmen Aidan Perez (Beaver, Pa.), Jonathan Azcona (Nazareth, Pa.), Andrew Atschinow (Skillman, N.J.) and Brent Kennedy (Bradford, Pa.).

"These newcomers' style of play and competitiveness will make an impact on our lineup," Schenfield said. "We will benefit from their strengths as they grow and mature into more experienced college players."

New this season, Pitt-Bradford will play most of its matches – both non-conference and AMCC contests -- in the fall, with a few in the spring.

"We have always had a strong schedule made up of top teams," Schenfield said. "This season is no different. The conference teams will be very competitive, as every team is returning the majority of last year's lineup. There is never a question of whether we are ready for a match because every match is going to be a challenge. The rallies may last long but we will show we have the patience to ride out the toughest opponents. If we can do that, we will have a successful season."

Friday's match will begin at 5 p.m.