In his third year as coach of the Michigan men”s tennis team, Mark Mees is excited about the prospects of this season as the Wolverines serve it up at 1 p.m. against Depaul tomorrow at the Varsity Tennis Center.
Although most of the lineup for Michigan”s first dual meeting of the year is still to be announced, Mees said that he is looking forward to seeing what his players can do against a solid DePaul squad.
“DePaul is a good team,” said Mees of the Blue Demons, who Michigan beat 4-3 last season.
The Wolverines, who didn”t lose any players to graduation last year, should feel fortunate as this is an uncommon occurrence at the collegiate level.
Also, the arrival of three highly touted freshman should expand the possibilities for this team. As a result of a kind offseason, the team is much deeper than last year from top to bottom. Knowing the extent of that depth, the players have pushed each other in practice thus far.
“We have potential to get into the top 25 in the country,” Mees said.
Fans can expect senior Henry Beam to be Michigan”s No. 1 singles player again. Serving as the team leader during the fall season, Beam led by example, cruising into the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Singles Championship in early November before falling to Minnesota”s Avery Ticer. Despite the loss, the senior has improved his skill and remains focused on accomplishing a very difficult goal beating out Big Ten favorite Illinois.
In addition to the continued leadership of Beam, the coaching staff expects big results from freshman Matt Lockin a 6-foot-5 workhorse who is ranked No. 23 in the Midwest region.
The other freshmen Joseph Fischer, David Anving and Vineeth Gossain are also expected to contribute significantly to the team this season.
But there are several caveats for the Wolverines to deal with. Gossain will be out of commission for the next three to four weeks after injuring his back over the winter break. Also, Anving and Fischer both started school this semester. Mees is hoping for an expeditious adjustment to Ann Arbor so they can concentrate on their tennis.
An optimistic Mees says that there is a stark difference between this season and those in the past.
He expects that fans will “notice lots of enthusiasm.”