King aims for third straight postseason berth
BRISTOL, Tenn. – For the second time in as many seasons as member of Conference Carolinas, the King University men's tennis team qualified for the eight-team conference tournament in 2012-13. The Tornado, and head coach Kethan Darbar expect to be back in postseason play again this season as they return nearly everyone from last year's squad.
King posted an 11-10 record a season ago, and finished the Conference Carolinas season with a 5-5 mark. That record landed the Tornado sixth in the conference standings and qualified them for the conference tournament for the second consecutive season. However, the Tornado fell in the first round of the tournament to Limestone.
King should be led by senior Rodrigo Avila, a two-time all-conference performer. Avila was named first team all-conference for the second consecutive year a season ago after posting a 13-7 singles record, going 6-4 in conference play. Playing primarily at No. 1 in both singles and doubles, he also went 13-8 in doubles play.
"We have a lot of experience at the top, and hopefully they will be there again, but they will be challenged by the new guys coming in," said Darbar. "They all are thirsty, they want to be in the top-6, they want to travel, they want to compete and represent King. It's going to be good to have competition among the teammates, it will increase their levels so that's what I'm looking for."
Fellow seniors Pablo Vidal and Leo Brigato will help what will be a young 2013-14 Tornado squad. Vidal played primarily at No. 2 in singles and doubles, posting a 13-7 singles record while going 11-10 with primary partner Avila in doubles play. Brigato went 10-10 in singles while going 11-10 in doubles.
William Boyce also returns after last season's freshman campaign in which he posted a 9-10 singles record, playing primarily at No. 6 singles. The team will be rounded out by a group of three freshmen that will look to crack the starting lineup.
The Tornado fall schedule opens with the Conference Carolinas Fall Tournament on September 13-15 in Sumter, S.C. King will also play in the ITA Southeast Regional in Sumter two weeks later, from September 27-30. The Conference Carolinas schedule will be played in the spring and the Conference Carolinas Tournament is scheduled for April 25-27 in Sumter.