Prep tennis hoping to reload with youngsters
Updated 11:24 am, Friday, April 1, 2011
The Fairfield Prep boys tennis team has a tradition of excellence that it intends to maintain.
Prep thrived in 2010 by winning the SCC championship for the third consecutive year. But in 2011, the Jesuits will enter with a new look squad. Prep lost five seniors to graduation, including its top-three singles players from that squad.
"We were senior heavy last year," Prep coach Tom Curran said. "We'll have some young guys who will have to step in and fill some roles."
The Jesuits must cope with the departure of some talented players too. The doubles team of Chris Indiveri and John Altieri reached the LL quarters. Prep also loses State Open runner-up Ryan Carr, as well as all-state performer Tom O'Brien. Third-singles player and Class LL quarterfinalist Jason Ottomano has also moved on.
But despite the Jesuits' losses, Curran believes that winning the SCC for the fourth consecutive year is attainable.
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"SCC's is definitely a goal that we all have as a team," Curran said.
Prep has finished in the top-three in the Class LL tournament in each of the last three years, but that success belies the depth of the tournament, Curran says.
"The state tournament is always super competitive," Curran said. "But hopefully we can have a good showing in it."
Junior captains Wes Craft and Chris Kinney will lead the Prep singles players. Both players were singles players a year ago, and each advanced to the second round of the Class LL in singles in 2010 as sophomores.
"They've been starters on good teams since they were freshmen," Curran said. "I'm pretty confident that they'll be fine."
In doubles, Indiveri and Altieri are gone, but the Jesuits will bring back its No. 2 team of Kevin Culligan and Phil Fama. The squad did reach the third round of Class LLs in 2010, but Fama is suffering through an injury which will delay the start of his season.
Despite the departures and injuries, Curran is convinced that his team is ready to build on Prep's tradition of excellence.
"We're a hard-working team," Curran said. "They're ready to step-up and put their stamp on the program."