posted March 6, 2007

2007 Men's Tennis Pre-Season Outlook

The Flying Dutchmen face a major rebuilding job as they seek to remain a contender in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).

Coach Steve Gorno, who begins his 15th season,  graduated five players from last year's MIAA runnerup team.  Hope has finished second or higher in the MIAA ten consecutive years.

This year's roster has only one senior along with three freshmen and six sophomores.

The lone senior is captain Stephen Malvitz of Ada, Mich. (East Grand Rapids HS) who a year ago was voted to the All-MIAA second team.  He was 11-11 at second flight singles and advanced to the league finals at second flight doubles.

The other returning letterwinners are sophomores Zach Huber of Holland, Mich. (West Ottawa HS) and John Schlotz of Kirkwood, Mo. (Kirkwood HS).  Schlotz was the league runnerup at sixth flight singles while Huber was a member of the league runnerup third flight doubles team.  Each had a good first collegiate season, Scholtz posting a 14-7 singles record at #6 and Huber going 14-10 at #5.

For the first time, this year's MIAA champion will receive an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III championships.  The league championship meet, therefore, will be changed to a team-format instead of having singles and doubles flight champions.

The 2007 schedule includes several indoor matches at Hope's six-court DeWittTennisCenter and the annual spring break competition in Hilton Head, S.C.

Hope's only home outdoor meet this season will be March 29 against non-league rival Aquinas.  The conference championships will be hosted by Albion on April 27-28.