Fairfield Ludlowe boys tennis coach John Honey has been pleasantly surprised with what he has seen thus far in 2010.

"Every player I've seen has vastly improved from last year," Honey said. "I was worried that this would be a rebuilding year, but I think we're going to be better than most people think."

The Falcons' lost five seniors, including their top two singles players from a team that went 13-3 a year ago. Ludlowe will return two-time state qualifier Matt Fitzburgh, who will be the Falcons' captain and top singles player.

"He's one of the most improved players I've ever seen over a four year period," Honey said. "He's worked so hard at it and is doing so well."

Co-captaining the team for Ludlowe is No. 3 singles player Austin Henry. Henry was a doubles player a year ago, but moves into the singles lineup. No. 2 singles player Reid Andren has also been a two-time state tournament qualifier, reaching the second round in 2009.

Ludlowe's fourth singles spot will be taken by a freshman, Dan Adejian. Honey has been impressed what he has seen from the ninth grader so far.

"He really looks specatacular," Honey said.

At the fifth spot, Ludlowe will have a competition. Ludlowe also will juggle a number of players at the doubles positions, started by John Colavito.

"He is very athletic," Honey said of Colavito.

Ryan Murphy, Peter Wycocc, Ryan Wartlington, Adam Rodgers and freshman Mike O'Neill will also all compete for the doubles spots. O'Neill is on the squad for improvements sake.

"I think he'll get better playing here in practice than he would on JV," Honey said. "He's going to get better and better...he's the future of the program."

Given the improvement of the players, Honey is setting the bar higher than he would have prior to the year.

"I'd like to get 10 or 11 wins maybe even 12," he said. "They're really better than I anticipated. I think we will be strong in the 3, 4, 5, spots."