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Cal Poly Men’s Tennis Opens 2019 Season Friday at Army

Cal Poly Men’s Tennis Opens 2019 Season Friday at Army

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — After a strong fall preseason, the Cal Poly men's tennis team will open the 2019 spring season this weekend by traveling to Army in West Point, N.Y. for three dual matches starting Friday.

The Mustangs will play three dual matches during the weekend, all at the Lichtenberg Tennis Center on Army's campus. They will open the tournament Friday against Yale at 3 p.m. PT. They will then play the host Black Knights Saturday at 11 a.m. PT. They wrap up the tournament Sunday when they face Michigan State at 7 a.m. PT.

This will be the first time Cal Poly men's tennis has faced all three of these schools in the program's history. Results from each match will be posted on the schedule page at the end of each day.

The Mustangs return seven players from last year's squad who played in the spring. They are led by seniors Dominic Bechard and Josh Ortlip. Bechard and Ortlip finished with the two best singles records on the team last season. Bechard went 13-3, primarily at the second position. Ortlip ended last season 14-6, all at the first position. Both were named to the Big West All-Conference First Team.

Along with Ortlip and Bechard, Cal Poly returns five players from last year's squad. Those players include sophomores Andrew Whitehouse, Roman Shenkiryk Alex Stater and Gabriel Gilbert as well as junior Antoine Noel.

Noel earned a spot on the Big West All-Conference Second Team after going 17-6 in singles and 3-0 in doubles.

Whitehouse and Shenkiryk were named Big West honorable mention for doubles after a 7-11 record at the second doubles position.

The team features three newcomers this year in Dustin Kua, Cambell Nakayama and Karapet Vardanyan. Kua was ranked as a four-star recruit by tennisrecruiting.net and reached the CIF-Southern Section Round of 16 three years in a row. Nakayama was a four-star recruit and ranked No. 52 nationally by Tennis Recruiting Network. Vardanyan was a five-star recruit by Tennis Recruiting Network and finished his senior year with a 10-1 record and won the CIF-Southern Section Boys Individuals Championship.

The Mustangs finished with an overall record of 18-7 last season and a second-place Big West finish after making it to the Big West Conference Championship match. They were also ranked in the ITA's Top 50 teams twice, including once at 44. In the past five years, the Mustangs have reached the championship match four times.

Cal Poly will play nine matches at home this season. The first will be on Friday, February 8 at 12 p.m. against San Francisco.