Men's Tennis 2010 Season Preview


West Windsor, N.J. -- With a schedule that includes 17 matches and two tournaments within a 30-day period, Mercer County Community College men's tennis coach Marc Vecchiolla is glad to have such a deep squad this year. He recalls his team from two years ago that finished fifth in the nation. "That team was great, but not as deep as this one."

He is optimistic about the Vikings' prospects. "We are definitely going to win some matches and we are going to have fun," Vecchiolla predicts. Coming after a season when the Vikings were 3-9, he points to several key factors in the anticipated turnaround.

"Our four returning players have worked their tails off since last year. They are setting a good example for the rest of the squad. And the guys who have joined the team are all very strong players," Vecchiolla explains.

At No. 1 is Matt Pierson. With an extremely fast serve, a terrific all-around game, and tons of tennis experience, Pierson will be a formidable foe. While at Montgomery High School, he went to the quarterfinals of the state singles championships two years in a row. No. 2 Jason Bielski played on the MCCC team two years ago, when the Vikings went to nationals and Bielski reached the semifinals at No. 5 singles. With the addition of a tennis court in his backyard and matches with some area legends, he has made great strides. Vecchiolla reports,"He loves the game and plays constantly." No. 3 Travis McCaughan, from Lawrence High School, is also a solid player, with a big forehand and serve. Mercer's No. 4, Juan Ramirez, played tennis in high school, as did No. 5 Ben Pinter, who played No. 2 singles for Florence. Rounding out the squad are former Hamilton West High School's No. 1 player, Dave Wilkes, playing for Mercer at No. 6; former Nottingham High School's No. 1 Jason Ciaccio at No. 7; Matt Romano at No. 8; Joon Lee at No. 9, and Brendan Belluscio at No. 10. Three others are on roster, but will not travel with the team.

With so much talent on the squad, Vecchiolla says there is a fine balance. "The players are competitive with one another, but they have a common goal to be a great team. It makes them push each other; they improve with competition."

The Vikings kick off their season this Friday, Mar. 19, in an away match against Williamson Trade (Media, Pa.), a newcomer to the division.

For more on men's tennis, including schedule, visit here.

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