The Men’s Tennis team kicked off their Spring season with a 5-4 victory against Georgia College on Feb 6. Being already strong the entire fall season Head Coach Chris Frusci recruited three new men to the men’s spring roster. Thomas Grinberg, Vincent Suillerot, and Elliot Carnello are the new faces that can have a big impact on the program.
“The team this year is probably the strongest ever in the history of Leo, and we are looking forward to achieve highest goals, including winning the national championship,” said Senior Egor Panyushkin, who is currently ranked individually as number nineteen in the nation. “It is a difficult goal winning nationals, but it is a very realistic goal. We have 4 players ranked top 10 and 20 in the nation and there is talent, hope, and belief in what we can and want to do. It does feels weird that it is my last semester in both, my athletic and academic career, and I want to finish it on a special note. I do have motivation and I am working hard to become a champion,” he continued.
In addition to that the team is working hard every day to achieve their goals. The athletes only got a short winter break to prepare as good as possible for the spring season.
“Mentally we are confident and physically we are in good shape. These are the two things you need to start the season. Adjustments are always a lot easier to make once we have some matches under our belt. We are doing early morning conditioning 3 days per week which is something we have not done before. We are also spending more time on doubles tactics. Finally, the quantity of tennis has increased a bit as well,” said Coach Frusci.
In the first games of their spring season the men’s tennis team already took down number nine Valdosta State and number twelve in the nation Georgia College showing their potential. Being ranked number seven in the Nation and second in the Sunshine State Conference shows what Lions fans can expect from this spring season.
“I believe there are several teams in our conference that have the potential to beat everyone. We have the talent for the sky to be the limit, but it’s all about the mentality and staying healthy as well. Barry won the national championship last year without being the most talented so it will depend on many factors,” said coach Frusci.
A Freshman who already had a major impact on the program last semester is Alberto Barosso-Campos. He was the first Saint Leo individual in school history to win the ITA Regional Championship in fall. He advanced to the National Tournament where he got third.
“For me I expect to have a good spring because I was training hard during the fall, where I got very good results in the tournament and for the team it could be an incredible season for us if we keep working hard. Our goal is the National Championship,” said Barosso-Campos.
With the team physically and mentally well prepared the Lions are looking forward to lift the program to a new level and write school history. The talent is there and the athletes are willing to put in relentless hours of hard work to achieve their goals.