The men’s tennis team couldn’t have dreamt of a better start than the one it has gotten off to. It is 4-0, it has a freshman No. 1 singles player (Josh Cohen) who hasn’t lost, and two of its four wins have come against ranked opponents.
“It’s been a great start,” Head Coach Bryan Getz said. “But it’s only the beginning as far as our schedule goes because it gets a lot tougher as we get into March and April.”
The No. 34 Hurricanes have looked impressive in winning their first four matches. They defeated the No. 38 Southern Methodist Mustangs, the South Florida Bulls, who at the time were No. 34, Florida Atlantic, and Florida A&M. The only thing that hasn’t gone Miami’s way was their match against the No. 7 Florida Gators, which was rained out this past weekend.
“Our guys were ready to play on Sunday,” Getz said. “We had a great week of practice and they were clicking on all cylinders, so it was a little disheartening, but we can’t control Mother Nature.”
Although it is still very early in the season, injuries have not been an issue with this year’s squad. Last year, the team had to overcome numerous losses of key players and still won the Big East championship.
“Everyone’s healthy right now, knock on wood,” Getz said.
One of the reasons the Hurricanes are off to a great start is the play of Cohen at the No. 1 singles slot. The freshman from Weston, Fla. has been dominating in his four wins.
“Josh is going to be there for us at every match,” Getz said. “And the scary part about him is that he hasn’t even tapped into his full potential yet. When he puts it all together, it’s going to be scary.”
Next up for the ‘Canes is another in-state opponent. Jacksonville University will visit the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Sunday at noon. The Dolphins are off to a tough start this season, as they are 1-3 thus far. They were defeated by Florida A&M 5-2, while the Hurricanes beat the Rattlers 7-0. Their only win came against Georgia Southern.
Jacksonville will likely have German-born Ben Birkmann at No. 1 singles and fellow German Martin Hehensteiger at No. 2 singles. The Dolphins have plenty of international talent, with four of their six players coming from outside of the United States.
Following Sunday’s match up, the ‘Canes will meet the Florida Gators on Wednesday in the make-up match from last weekend’s rainout.
“First of all, a win over the Gators would be great for our school. Anytime we beat Florida whether it is the debate, football, basketball, baseball, or tennis team it’s always nice,” Getz said. “They have been one of the top five teams in college tennis for the last five years and we aspire to become what they are. They are definitely beatable.”
Douglas Kroll can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.