Sept. 11, 1997
Boston College Men's Tennis Outlook
The youth movement has hit the Heights. Despite having only one senior on the roster, the 1997-98 Boston College men's tennis team possesses a good blend of veterans and talented newcomers. Second-year head coach Nigel Bentley is excited, but cautious about the upcoming season.
"We are going to rely heavily on the younger players this season," he said. "But that does not mean we are not talented because we might have the best talent in a few years."
When the Eagles open the season this fall, they will be looking to improve on a 5-16 record and a 2-3 BIG EAST mark of a season ago, as well as a 10th-place finish at the 1997 BIG EAST Championships.
"I believe we can be very successful this season," Bentley said. "We are improved and have some depth."
Heading up the list of returnees is sophomore Anand Annigeri, the Eagles' top singles player in 1996-97. In his rookie campaign, Annigeri led Boston College with 15 singles victories. He finished 8-8 playing in the number-one singles position. Annigeri finished the spring season by winning six of his final eight singles matches, including two at the BIG EAST Championships.
Also back for BC are sophomore Nikolas Smith and junior Chris Amundsen. Both players should be key contributors to the Eagles' singles lineup this season. Smith, who saw the majority of his singles action at the number-two spot in 1996-97, tied for second on the team with eight singles wins.
Amundsen has more collegiate tennis experience that any other Boston College player, as he has competed in 105 matches (50 singles, 55 doubles) in the past two years. Last season, he tied Smith for second with eight singles victories and ranked second on the team with 22 overall wins. Amundsen saw action at every singles position, except number-one. In the number-six spot, Amundsen compiled a 5-4 record.
Rounding out the regulars from last season's singles lineup is senior captain John Brennan. Brennan captured three of his five singles victories at the number-four position.
Three talented newcomers join the Eagles in 1997. Freshman Jason Cowett, Chris Johnson and Ki-Chang Kim will be counted on to contribute immediatley.
Cowett comes to the Heights from Del Mar, Calif., where he was a four-time All-League performer for Torrey Pines High School.
Johnson, who begins fall competition as a second semester freshman, is a transfer from the University of Delaware. He is a talented and athletic player who will compete in the top half of the lineup.
Rounding out the trio of newcomers is Kim, who comes to Chestnut Hill from Seoul, Korea. Kim was the Far East Tennis Player of the Year in 1996 while competing for the Seoul Foreign School.
The 1996-97 season saw the emergense of the Eagles' top doubles team, Chris Amundsen and Anand Annigeri. The duo compiled a 9-11 record at number-one and a 5-4 mark in tournament play. The pair closed out the spring season by winning seven of their final nine matches.
John Brennan and Nikolas Smith should see plenty of action in doubles competition as will the three freshman newcomers. Brennan went 8-17 with four different partners in 1996-97. In tournament play, Brennan and his three different partners registered a 4-2 record. Smith won seven doubles matches with four different partners last season. Together, Brennan and Smith won three of their last four matches, including one at the BIG EAST Championships.
"We will be very competitive this season," Bentley said. "How well we improve over the fall and winter will undoubtably be the means for a successful finish at the BIG EAST Championships."