Written by Sean Dahlin and Matthew McKinney
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Heading into the upcoming 2013 spring season, the Southern Virginia University men's tennis team ended its fall season with a solid 3-1 record.
"We had a successful fall season and our new scholar-athletes received valuable experience to help their transition into the spring," said fifth-year Head Coach Tony Caputo. "Shaolin [Chandam] served as a great leader for our team this fall."
Led by senior captain Shaolin Chandam (Chandigarh, India),—who finished 4-0 in singles play without dropping a set—Southern Virginia started the year with match victories over Ferrum College and Frostburg State University both by a 7-2 result respectively.
In their season debut, the Knights jumped out to a 5-1 advantage over the Panthers through singles contests—winning each of the five singles matches in straight sets—and sealed the victory winning the final two doubles matches.
Similarly in its second match-up of the season, Southern Virginia took five of the games in singles competition at Frostburg State while again finishing with two doubles wins from number-one seeded teammates Chandam and Birch along with number-three seeded doubles partners Kenneth Mize (Parker, Colo.) and Josh Michelsen (Ontario, Calif.)
The Knights stumbled in their sole loss to Old Dominion Athletic Conference-member Lynchurg College 5-4. After an even 3-3 battle through singles competition, the Hornets held on for the win with a 2-1 doubles match advantage.
Southern Virginia closed out the fall with its third win defeating Randolph College in a close 5-4 battle. All four Knights to win in singles competion—No. 1 Chandam, No. 2 Josh Hinkle (Bountiful, Utah), No. 3 Brian Blocher (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and No. 5 Mize—did so in straight sets.
"It will be difficult to replace Shaolin [Chandam] who had a great career here at Southern Virginia," said Caputo who led men's tennis to a 15-1 record last season the most successful athletic season in Southern Virginia's 16-year history. "I feel as a team, however, we're up to the task of the challenging spring schedule."
Including his unbeaten record as the number-one seed, Chandam went 3-1 in the doubles circuit while two of those wins occurred when he teamed up with fellow senior Timothy Birch (Sandy, Utah).
Hinkle also finished undefeated in singles play with a 4-0 record coming out on top of each set he played while Blocher ended the fall at 3-1.
Men's tennis will begin the 2013 spring season on Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. in a rematch at Randolph College.