Men’s Tennis: Freshmen get into the mix for the Hurricanes

After losing four key seniors last year, the young University of Miami men’s tennis team is off to a quick start this season, winning their first two matches. In both matches, the Hurricanes won by scores of 6-1, defeating North Florida on Jan. 21 and Stetson on Jan. 24.

Led by seniors Luigi D’Agord and Josh Cohen, the ‘Canes are ranked No. 11 in the nation and look to build off one of the team’s best seasons in recent years, in which they claimed a share of the regular season ACC title and advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. It will prove to be a daunting task as four of the squad’s ten players are freshman.

“We have a very young team,” Head Coach Mario Rincon said. “The biggest challenge will be translating the potential talent into winning matches.”

It hasn’t taken long for the freshman to get acclimated, as they claim three of the six singles spots on the team. Newcomer Hector Nieto is 2-0 at the No. 4 slot and fellow freshmen Barnabas Carrega and J.C. Whitner have each picked up a victory at the No. 5 and 6 spots, respectively.

“We are really trying hard to contribute, so we can repeat [as ACC champions],” Whitner said. “We don’t have as much experience, but we have a lot of firepower, and our seniors are as good as anyone in the country.”

It is easy to understand why the Hurricanes are ranked so highly when you look at the success of the careers of their two seniors.

D’Agord, who plays No. 1 singles for the ‘Canes, also teams up with Cohen at the No. 1 doubles spot. D’Agord finished No. 3 in the nation last season and is a major threat to win the NCAA tournament this year.

The Hurricanes have two All-Americans this season with D’Agord and sophomore Daniel Vallverdu. Vallverdu, who plays No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles, won the ACC Freshman of the Year award last season.

“Daniel came in at the right time last year,” Rincon said. “He got on a role and kept winning. He is just a great competitor. He doesn’t back down from anyone, and he is going to give us a lot of wins during his time at UM.”

The Hurricanes will have to play their way through a very tough schedule to match last season’s success. The ACC is arguably the toughest conference in the nation, with Florida State, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and the ‘Canes all in the Top 15.

“UF will probably be our toughest match, mentally, since we are in-state rivals,” Carrega said. “Ability wise, though, Ohio State and UVA will probably be the best teams we face.”

Despite the schedule, Rincon, who was named the ACC Coach of the Year last season, is confident.

“I think that everyone of them contribute to fill the void,” Rincon said. “Not only do we have talented players, but we have great learners, and that can go a long way.”

Zack Loss may be contacted at

January 30, 2007


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.