YORK, PA – The York College men's tennis team enters the 2013-14 season with high expectations. The Spartans welcome back a deep core of experienced players while a large recruiting class forms one of the most talented teams in the history of the program.
Head coach Ryan Weber will have the largest team in his tenure at York as the roster boasts 18 players, many of who return with significant varsity experience.
"I like the balance on this roster," says Weber. "Our returners are strong and experienced while the new guys are talented but a little raw. There is going to be more competition for court time than we have ever had before."
The Green and White will be led by senior captains Tyler Cheatham (Westminster, Md./Westminster) and Nathaniel Hoskins (Gap, Pa./Pequea Valley). Cheatham is the Spartans' number one singles player and will also see significant time in doubles play for the Spartans. Cheatham won eight matches at the number one slot last year while he combined with various teammates to notch seven doubles wins. Hoskins will play in the upper half of the Spartans' singles lineup and, much like Cheatham, will anchor down a spot in the Spartans' doubles lineup.
"Tyler and Nate give us great leadership," states Weber. "We are a pretty young team and they have done a really good job of getting everyone going in the same direction."
A trio of juniors provide Weber with outstanding middle of the order talent. Matt Rosenkrantz (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow), Jake Greenstein (Morris Plains, N.J./Parsippany Hills), and Daniel Erk (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) are three players who Weber believes can make a jump in performance in their third collegiate seasons. Rosenkrantz is slated to hold down the second singles slot after an offseason of hard work has allowed him to move up in the lineup. Rosenkrantz went 11-6 playing out of the third and fourth singles slot as a sophomore. He also combined with Greenstein to notch eight wins in second doubles play last season. Greenstein will play somewhere in the middle of the Spartans' singles lineup and will have an impact in doubles. Erk was York's top winner last year as he went a brilliant 16-4 last year. Erk went 2-1 at fourth singles, 6-0 at fifth singles, and 7-2 in sixth singles. He is slated to play fourth singles heading into this season. Erk also had a combined 13-3 doubles mark during his sophomore campaign.
"Each of those three juniors have continued to work hard to improve," says Weber. "We will count on them to have big years and provide us with strong performances during the season."
Freshman Kaltrin Bullaj (Glen Rock, Pa./Susquehannock) has earned the sixth singles spot to start the season.
"Kaltrin has been very impressive so far," says Weber. "I could see him moving up the lineup as the season progresses."
Weber will look to returners Mario Herrera (San Francisco, Calif./Josua Christian) and Zach Hanson (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) to contribute during the season, particularly in the doubles lineup. Herrera went 7-3 in singles play last year while Hanson notched a 4-1 mark in limited opportunities.
"I like the make-up of this team," says Weber. "Guys are working hard and pushing each other to improve. We are deep and that depth will pay dividends throughout the season. I am excited to get started."
The Spartans open the fall campaign on Saturday, September 14 when they host Messiah College in a non-conference contest. The match is slated for a 1:00 pm start in York.