FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s tennis team will kick off the 2010 dual match season on Tuesday (Jan. 19) when they travel to Tampa to take on the No. 37 South Florida Bulls. Competition is set to begin at 2:00 p.m. at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts.
The 37th-ranked Bulls are the third nationally-ranked opponent for the Eagles, after opening the season competing in a tournament that featured No. 13 Florida State and No. 15 Illinois. After Tuesday’s match with USF, the Blue and Green once again take on the 13th-ranked Seminoles, this time in a dual match.
“We’re going to have a very challenging non-conference schedule, and I’m happy about that,” head coach J. Webb Horton said. “Playing some of the top teams in the nation this early in the season will help us prepare for our conference competition later on.”
FGCU returns three seniors, including Thibaud Aime (Figeac, France), who was named to the 2009 All-Atlantic Sun Second Team, along with Raphael Costa (Brasilia, Brazil) and Gonzalo Rafael De Villa (Miami, Fla.). Horton is expecting big things from newcomers Matthew Rock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Mitchell Lvovsky (Dania Beach, Fla.), and Carlo Checchia (Brasilia, Brazil), who all come to FGCU as transfers this year. “With the leadership of Thibaud (Aime) and some exciting newcomers, I expect to have a very competitive team this season,” said Horton. “Our transfers were all solid players for their respective institutions last season, and I think our freshmen will be welcome additions as well.” Collin Brown (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Nicholas Moore (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) are the only two freshmen on a veteran-laden roster this season.
The Eagles open up the home portion of the 2010 season on Saturday, February 6, when they host Stetson. That will also mark the first A-Sun conference match for the Eagles. Play is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the FGCU Tennis Complex.