LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall men's tennis team is looking to build off of the success it achieved last season. In 2011 the Diplomats finished 12-6, played in their first-ever Centennial Conference (CC) title match, and earned a No. 12 regional ranking. F&M is hoping to turn the positive experience from a season ago into an even greater one in 2012.
"Our first two weeks of practice have been awesome. The energy, intensity, and focus the players have been bringing will create some successful opportunities throughout the season," said head coach Sean Kelleher.
Kelleher is entering his fourth season as the head coach of the Diplomats and has taken the program to new heights. Coaching F&M to its first ever win over Swarthmore last season and its first ever second place finish in the CC, Kelleher is thrilled about the schedule that awaits the Diplomats this year.
"I'm excited about the addition of two new non-conference match-ups this season against Mary Washington and The College of New Jersey," said Kelleher. Both of these teams have consistently been nationally ranked over the last five years. This kind of competition will allow the Diplomats to increase their strength of schedule, as well as give them opportunity to show the growth of the program.
Not only will F&M have the chance to play strong non-conference opponents, but the Diplomats will also see difficult match-ups within the CC. Haverford, Swarthmore, Washington College, and perennial power Johns Hopkins will each provide tests for the Diplomats throughout the year.
"Our goals are simple. We are not a result driven team, and we know that with consistent practice and hard work we will be able to reach our potential," stated Kelleher.
The Diplomats biggest loss from last year is senior captain Doug Silverstein. Silverstein was a key contributor at the No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles for the Diplomats, but his biggest impact, according to Kelleher, was his leadership. "He was our energizer, and will be missed."
Despite the loss of Silverstein, F&M brings back its top three player from last year's team. First Team All-Conference selection and team captain Ross Silverberg, Second Team All-Conference Will MacArthur, and Tommy Weibye, all return to the top of the Diplomat lineup.
Silverberg was F&M's No. 1 singles and doubles players posting a 15-5 and 13-5 record on the season. MacArthur played in the No. 2 spot in the singles and teamed up with Silverberg as the No. 1 in the doubles. He recorded a 15-3 in the singles and a 13-5 in doubles. Weibye split time in the singles between the No. 2, 3, and 4 spots posting a 13-1, while in the doubles Weibye played in the No. 2 position finishing with a 14-4 record.
In the bottom half of the lineup, the Diplomats will have consistency and senior leadership from Eric Rouff. Rouff returns for F&M after splitting time in the singles No. 3, 4, and 5 positions last season, the senior was 11-8 on the year.