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March 29, 2012

Men's Tennis Bounces Back at Shenandoah

Written by Chris Pendleton

WINCHESTER, Va.—The Southern Virginia University men's tennis team bounced back from its first loss of the season earlier this week with a 9-0 victory at Shenandoah University on Thursday. 

"Today's win caused me to reflect upon where our program has come over the past four years," said fourth-year head coach Tony Caputo following the Knights win at Shenandoah. "Our team showed great determination after a humbling defeat at Randolph-Macon with this positive bounce-back win."

Caputo recalled that despite playing Shenandoah several times over the past four years, men's tennis had never defeated the Hornets until last April when the Knights collected a 5-4 win at SU. Thursday's victory marked only the second time in men's tennis history that Southern Virginia (9-1) won at Shenandoah (0-8).

"[Shenandoah] will bounce back," said Caputo. "They have too good a program and coach not to, but for us to go in there as focused as we did I was very proud of our young men."

Despite the absence of its top singles player, Southern Virginia collected six singles wins at Shenandoah as the Knights improved their combined singles record to 39-21 (.650) this season, which, if maintained, would be by far the best singles winning percentage in program history.

The Knights have been even better in doubles play winning 23 out of 30 (.767) doubles matches to this point, which would also be a program best winning percentage.

Southern Virginia has been winning with a combination of experience—No. 1 Shaolin Chandam (Chandigarh, India) and No. 4 Phillip Whiteley (Logan, Utah) are both returners from last year's squad—and youth as newcomers No. 2 Tyler Clark (Rocklin, Calif.), No. 3 Adam Blocher (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and No. 5 Brian Blocher (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) are a combined 23-6 in singles matches this season.

Men's tennis is off until Tuesday, Apr. 3, when the Knights travel to Guilford College for a match at 3:30 p.m. EST.