LANCASTER, Pa. – Facing one of the toughest schedules in recent memory, Franklin & Marshall's men's tennis team enters the season with some of the same goals and expectations that guided the Diplomats to a Centennial Conference (CC) Semifinal appearance in 2012.
"Our goal is to bring consistent effort and attitude to practice every day," said head coach Sean Kelleher. "We expect to be the most competitive and fit team in our conference."
Kelleher comes into the season fresh off a CC Coach of Year nod after leading F&M to an 8-8, 7-2 CC record in 2012. He begins his fifth year at the helm, having amassed a 38-29 mark since 2009.
Building on last season's success will be a challenge with a schedule that includes four teams ranked nationally in the top-25 and 10 teams ranked regionally. The Diplomats will be tested against the likes of nationally ranked Johns Hopkins (No. 7), Washington and Lee (No. 20), Mary Washington (No. 21) and Swarthmore (No. 23).
In addition to Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore, the CC features regionally ranked Washington College (No.11) and Haverford (No. 8).
"With our program improving every year we run into new challenges, the increasing strength of our schedule is one of the toughest," said Kelleher.
"They have great match experience between them and have come together to lead the entire team," said Kelleher. "Their expectations in practice are extremely high which will translate well into our matches."
Silverberg enters 2013 sporting a No. 8 ranking in the Atlantic South Region after reaching the ITA Quarterfinals in September. His 15-5 record last year was good for seventh best all-time in school history and earned him All-CC First Team recognition.
The senior also sits in seventh place all-time in career wins with 43. Last season, Silverberg entered the regional rankings at No.10 on April 12th and stayed on the list throughout the remainder of the season.
Silverberg found success in doubles action as well, teaming with MacArthur at the No. 1 spot to collect an 11-5 record and a place on the All-CC First Team. MacArthur also put together an 11-7 record individually at the No. 3 spot in the lineup, which includes a 7-1 tally in the CC.
Weibye and Bacchieri head into the season with high expectations after both earned All-CC recognition in 2012. Weibye held down the No. 2 spot for the Diplomats in his sophomore year and captured All-CC Second Team honors due to an 11-5 singles record.
Bacchieri teamed with Weibye to form an effective doubles duo that posted a 14-6 record in the No. 2 spot and garnered All-CC Honorable Mention accolades. In singles competition, Bacchieri found success in the No. 4 spot with an 11-2 record.
Filling out the top-six in singles competition should include freshman Doug Kaplan and senior Alec Tunner. Kaplan looks to make an impact on both the singles and the doubles lineup and has the coaching staff excited about his aggressive style of play.
Tunner will provide experience at the bottom of the lineup, as he posted three wins from the No. 6 position in 2012.
F&M opens play this Sunday in Fredericksburg, Va., with a double-header against Bridgewater (Va.) and Mary Washington. The Diplomats head down to Florida on March 10th for the spring break section of their schedule where F&M will face TCNJ, before going against Rensselaer and Wesleyan on March 14th. The CC portion of the Diplomats' slate kicks off March 30th on the road against Washington College.