Koepfer and company aim for strong invitational showing at LSU

William Potts, Senior Staff Reporter

Behind the leadership of top-ranked German national Dominik Koepfer, the Tulane men’s tennis team is poised to make a dominant 2015-16 campaign.

The collegiate dual matches, which pit one team against the other with a six singles matches and three doubles matches format, have yet to begin. Individual successes, however, at recent invitational tournaments by Green Wave players indicate a promising future for the private university’s program.

The squad aims to build off of a strong performance from its previous season. During 2015 play, the team finished with a 16-7 record. With a string of recent victories, Tulane headed into the conference tournament with confidence after earning a first round bye. Despite the team’s momentum, the No. 3 seeded Tulane fell to the No. 2 seeded Tulsa in the semifinal round.

The Wave’s seventh-year head coach Mark Booras will aim to capitalize on a high rate of return, as all six of last year’s starting singles players will once again don green and white. The addition of two young guns, however, will not go unnoticed.

Freshmen Tyler Schick, from Short Hills, New Jersey and Eric Wagner, from Rosyln Heights, New York, add depth to an already strong lineup. The pair, along with their respective doubles partners, senior brothers Ian and Alex Van Cott, also gained valuable on-court experience at the collegiate level on the weekend of Oct. 30 during the University of North Carolina Wilmington Invitational held in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Both pairings finished their Wilmington trip with 1-2 records.

In singles, Tulane enjoyed repeated success against Richmond opponents. Schick took down Alexandre Felisa 6-2, 6-3, moving his season singles record to 8-4, while veteran teammate Ian Van Cott got the win against Brice Polender in a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 battle.

Earlier in the invitational season during the Oct. 15 Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Southern regionals hosted in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, other Green Wave players stood out among some of the nation’s top competitors. Sebastien Rey had a particularly notable run, winning five straight matches on his way to a semifinal berth. Unfortunately, his run ended early of the finals, as he lost the semifinal matchup against South Alabama’s Tuki Jacobs in straight sets.

Rey made the farthest run in the tournament, but Tulane’s overall record of 22-12 at the top tournament strengthened the program’s reputation in one of the biggest stages prior to the start of the season.

Green Wave players will face their next challenge Friday, Nov. 6, during the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge. It will serve as the final test for Tulane tennis to perfect its stroke before the New York National Indoor Championships.

The Wave plays its first inter-collegiate matchup against the Pepperdine Wave Jan. 22 in Los Angeles.