02/01/2012 – The men's tennis team opens the season as the 14th ranked team in the NAIA. Coach Hendrick's crew, who went 25-4 a year ago, will look to build on last year successes and focus on the future.
The Saints did not graduate any players from last year's squad that finished ranked among the top twenty teams in the NAIA and were crowned region eight champions. The 2011-12 team will include last year’s National ITA Rookie Player of the Year Aaron Hendrick. Hendrick finished his freshman season ranked among the top thirty players in the nation and with partner Nik Artaev was ranked among the top 15 doubles teams. Hendrick was also honored as an NAIA All-American player upon the completion of his inaugural season. Sophomore Nik Artaev also returns after having an exceptional first year. He too was an All-American in his freshman season and with Hendrick tied an Aquinas record for the most doubles wins in one season (33-3). Last year’s #3 player Kyle Masteller will return for his junior season. Masteller was a reliable performer at third singles and second doubles and will be expected to do even more as an upper classman. This year's team returns three seniors including, Travis Wolf, who previously played #4 singles, John Telfer (#5) and Michael Sendor (#6). Wolf has earned a reputation as one of the team’s best competitors and often plays his best tennis in the biggest matches. Telfer ended last season with the team’s longest win streak and dominated his opponent at the National Championship event in May. He will be expected to continue this high level of play throughout his final season. Sendor showed last year that he is more than just a “doubles specialist” by soundly defeating the team’s biggest rival in both matches. He will be expected to contribute in this his final season through his on and off-court leadership.
The only newcomer to the Saints squad this year includes only transfer Peter Tratt. Tratt comes to Aquinas from a Division 3 College in Indiana where he played #1 singles and doubles in his freshman year. Tratt brings a big serve and big game and will be expected to contribute immediately for a spot in both the singles and doubles line-up.
Overall, expectations at Aquinas are very high for an especially successful season of tennis. This year's team will once again contend for the unofficial city championship and expects to be ranked among the top 15 in the nation. The team is also a favorite to win the WHAC and Region 8 Championship. As always, the team’s top goal is to qualify for the National Championship tournament to be played in Mobile, Alabama in May. Given the combination of talent and experience, the Saints are looking forward to a successful 2012.