ORANGE, Calif. – After opening the brand new Lasting Tennis Center in the fall, the Chapman University tennis teams have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to christen the new facility. That chance finally comes on Tuesday when the men's team takes on Biola at 1 p.m.
The Panthers went 3-15 overall last year and went 2-6 in the SCIAC – one of the toughest tennis conferences in the country. They finished tied for sixth in the standings but have their sights set higher in 2018 with half of the roster featuring new players.
After two years off campus, the Panthers will look to make strides in their first year back on campus. Sophomore Len Kamemoto returns after a strong freshman season for the Panthers. He played in every position on the lineup, except for No. 1 singles, and compiled an 8-9 overall record.
Seven newcomers join the squad this year with seven returners. Rasmus Helms is the only senior on the roster and one of just four upperclassmen. Junior Igor Belineli and Mathew Mead return the most experience on the court. Belineli (formerly Silva) has played in 20 singles matches over the last two years while Mead has played in 18.
Mead brings back the most experience in doubles play with over 30 matches in the last three years. He was a mainstay in the doubles lineup last season and went 3-2 when he moved up to play on the Panthers' No. 1 doubles team with recently graduated Charlie Werman. Junior Brock DeHaven also played in 17 dual matches during doubles last season at all three spots in the lineup.
Freshmen will figure into the lineup on opening day and throughout the season. Jacob Lee and Troy Manditch will see some time in the starting singles lineup with more making their way into the doubles lineup.
The Panthers take on Biola tomorrow at 1 p.m. before welcoming Colorado College on Sunday at 11 a.m.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director