By Dave Loveton, sports information
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Depth will be strength for Vaqueros
International players lead the way
The SBCC men’s tennis team is a worldly bunch with players from England, Sweden, Australia and Morocco complementing a lineup of Californians.
“The athletic and academic resources available to our students along with the beautiful city of Santa Barbara offers our players a package that is tough to beat,” said third-year coach Ryan Heinberg. “Once they check out the web site, that kind of seals the deal with all that is offered, along with the beautiful pictures of our campus.”
Troy Akin, Robert Herr and Che Borja are the returners from last year’s team. Soufiane El Mhamdi, of Morocco, was on the squad last season but didn’t play due to injury.
Akin, Herr and Borja are the captains of a Vaquero squad that’s off to a 2-1 start after blanking Bakersfield 9-0 on Tuesday. Akin is a resident advisor in Isla Vista and manages a dorm for UCSB students.
“Our captains play a major role in fostering team growth in all aspects of life on and off the tennis court,” Heinberg said. “Our guys are focused on their studies and graduating, so they can transfer to a four-year school.”
The top newcomers are Miles Seemann from Santa Ynez High, Sebastian Vestberg of Sweden, Joshua Crisp-Jones of England and Daniel Francisco of Australia. Francisco is a transfer from College of the Desert.
Seemann, Vestberg, Jones and Francisco are playing in the top four singles spots with Akin at No. 5 and Herr and Sean Moazezi at No. 6.
“We have a diverse group of guys this year and are really deep with more players in our arsenal,” noted Heinberg. “We have mostly young guys but they have quite a bit of experience. They’ve got the confidence to make tough shots and raise their game when the pressure is on.”
Last week, the Vaqueros dropped a tight 5-4 decision to six-time defending champion Ventura.
“I thought we were the better team,” said Heinberg of the match at Ventura. “We are really looking forward to the next meeting (March 20) when we play them up here.”
The Vaqueros host Glendale on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Heinberg said a key to success will be continuous improvement.
“The guys need to continue pushing each other to reach new levels,” he stated. “They all have the ability. This team has a lot of potential.”
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