Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Monday, March 12, 2007
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From an outsider’s perspective, it’s all a bit unknown with the Muhlenberg men’s tennis team. Right now the 2007 season looks like a list of questions, but the Mules are ready to provide some answers – some of which they can give right now, and some that will have to wait.

A year after struggling through injuries, some of the Mules return a bit banged up to begin the
James Goldman
Goldman believes his team exudes a quiet confidence. “I think we will surprise a few teams this year,” he said.
season. So how serious are the bumps and bruises this time around?

“We’re able to play through them,” said senior Randy Salani.

Then there’s the issue of the starting lineup. Last year Muhlenberg graduated its No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, who also teamed up to play No. 1 doubles. So who will fill those shoes this year?

“The ladder hasn’t been officially developed,” Salani said. “We have a very dense lineup fighting for the singles spots.”

Contributing to the dense lineup are nine returnees from last year’s squad, including three in particular who made the biggest impact.

Last year junior James Goldman played at almost every spot in the starting lineup, finding most of his success at No. 4 singles. He earned three of his team lead-tying five singles victories at that spot and also contributed to a doubles win.

“Last year there was so much going on with all the injuries, and we never had the same lineup. This year we are going to be more consistent,” Goldman said. “At this point we just want to play better than we did last year, which I think we will.”

Then there was sophomore Brian Wernick, who earned seven combined wins in his debut season, two of which came in Muhlenberg’s 7-0 rout of McDaniel. His 4-1 doubles record with Muhlenberg alum Adam Nodiff was tops on the team last year.

Senior Michael DiVita also returns to the Mules. He is coming off a season in which he earned three of his four career singles victories.

Of the returning players, Goldman holds the most combined career wins with 12. Not far behind him, however, is fellow junior Jesse Kirschenbaum, who has 11 career victories and who will be looked upon to earn even more this year.

Sophomore Andrew Brick will try to add to his four career wins, while two other sophomores – Timothy Ness and David Weiss – will add depth to the lineup.

A relatively large freshman class adds another question mark. How will the team’s five first-year players fit in?

“They are a strong group. They’re really going to make an impact on this team,” Salani said.

In all likelihood, freshmen Robbie Goldwein and Jonathan Farber will jump into the top singles spots, and Goldwein is also expected to be a top doubles player.

The amount of success that each piece of the team – newcomer or otherwise – is able to accomplish remains to be seen and won’t be determined until the season gets underway. It’s just one more reason to watch as the Mules kick off 2007 in a Matte Award Contest against Moravian on Wednesday, March 14. They will play their home opener at Kern Field on Saturday, March 17.

“Moravian is one of those teams that we’ve always played really well against,” Goldman said, “so it will be a great first match to start out confident and get us geared up for the rest of the season.”

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Last updated March 12, 2007