FOREST, VA - The Hampden-Sydney Tennis team was picked sixth in the ODAC Preseason Poll released on Thursday.
The Tigers off a 5-8 season that saw them finish 4-5 in the ODAC to place sixth in the conference. H-SC is a very inexperienced bunch this year, having just two players on the team that played in at least 80% of the matches last year. The three returning players include Houghton Flanagan (Charlotte, NC / Myers Park), Zack King (Henrico, VA / Mills Godwin), and Watt Mountcastle (Richmond, VA / Freeman).
King went 6-6 on the season and 5-4 in the conference along with a 4-9 doubles record. All 12 of his singles matches came at the #2 spot while 12 of his 13 doubles contests were at the #2 flight teaming with Barrett Polan. King will be taking over the #1 spot on the team this year. Flanagan posted a 4-7 overall record, 4-4 in ODAC play, playing at the #4, #5, and #6 singles flights and will be slotted in at the #5 singles flight again this year. Mountcastle filled in at the very end of the season due to an injury but did have success, contributing two wins in three singles matches with a 4-2 mark in doubles play and he will parlay that strong finish into taking over the #3 singles spot.
Hampden-Sydney will have to rely on a slew of newcomers this spring in Lawrence Bowers (New Bern, NC / Arendell Parrott Academy), David Dodson (Roanoke, VA / Cave Spring), Tanner Fox (Lexington, VA / Parry McCluer), Zachary Fox (Lexington, VA / Parry McCluer), Aleksandar Turkovic (Belgrade, Serbia / Miller School), and Houston Wilson (Norfolk, VA / Norfolk Collegiate). Dodson has made a strong impression on the coaching staff thus far and will immediately take over at #2 singles. Bowers and Wilson will also pay immediate dividends as they are currently filling the #4 and #6 singles flights, respectively. Turkovic is also currently expected to be a regular participant in doubles competition.