The Hope College men's tennis team hosts the first of five home indoor tennis matches in preparation for the outdoor season on Wednesday (Feb. 14) when the Flying Dutchmen host Grand Rapids Community College (3:30 p.m.) at the college's DeWitt Tennis Center.
The indoor matches will be a prelude to the team's annual spring break trip to Hilton Head, S.C. from March 19-23. The regular season begins in late March culminated by Hope hosting the MIAA championships from May 4-5.
Coach Steve Gorno returns six players from the 2000 team which finished second in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) and posted a school-record 19-5 dual match record. In eight seasons, Gorno has guided the Dutchmen to a 92-61 dual match record.
The co-captains are seniors Kai Bouchard of Hinsdale,, Ill. (Hinsdale Township Central HS) and Kevin Gingras of Muskegon (Mona Shores HS). Other returning letterwinners are junior Matt Bradley of Hastings (Hastings HS), junior Josh Honholt of Grand Rapids (Forest Hills HS), junior Raj Malviya of Holland (Holland HS), and junior Dan Mann of Spring Lake (Grand Haven HS).
Rounding out the eight-member squad are freshmen Erik Frost of Midland (Midland HS) and Derek Phelan of Warren (Warren Woods Tower HS).
Mann, who most likely will play at the number one singles spot, achieved All-MIAA first team honors as a freshman while Bouchard received All-MIAA second team recognition for the second consecutive year.
Last spring Mann (2nd flight), Bouchard (3rd), Malviya (5th) and Honholt (sixth flight) finished second in their respective flights at the MIAA championships. Bouchard, Mann and Gingras were members of doubles teams that were second at the MIAA championships.
The Hope tennis program continues to benefit from the college's DeWitt Tennis Center, a six-court facility that opened in 1994. This facility has allowed Hope's tennis teams to have an indoor season during Michigan's winter months. The Dutchmen were 5-1 indoors last year.