Feb. 20, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- This weekend will be a busy one in terms of both travel and competition for the Navy men's tennis team. The Mids will begin the weekend by playing at No. 23 North Carolina Saturday at 10 a.m. before returning home to play host to both George Mason (9 a.m.) and Howard (2 p.m.) Sunday at the Tose Family Tennis Center.
"North Carolina is ranked among the top-25 teams in the country," said Navy head coach John Officer. "They have already defeated Illinois (currently ranked 14th). They are well coached and play hard on every point. They rely on three freshman to start who have all stepped up big already in this young season.
"George Mason beat us last year in Annapolis. They have a bunch of hard-nosed competitors. We will need to come out with a lot of energy and use all of the extra shots we have been practicing."
Navy enters the week with a 4-3 record on the season. Most recently, the Mids posted a 6-1 win over St. Bonaventure Saturday at the Tose Family Tennis Center. The Bonnies won the doubles point from the Mids, but Navy won each of the six singles matches in straight sets.
The Tar Heels have posted a 9-1 record this season. In addition to the Tar Heels as a team holding a national ranking, so too do several individual members of the squad. Brayden Schnur is ranked 15th nationally in singles, Ronnie Schneider is ranked 22nd in the country and Brett Clark is ranked 39th. In doubles, the tandem of Jack Murray and Schneider is ranked 53rd, while the duo of Brett Clark and Esben Hess-Olesen is ranked 58th.
Additionally, singles players Clark (2nd), Schneider (6th) and Nelson Vick (17th) and the doubles teams of Clark and Schneider (6th) and Oysten Steiro and Vick (9th) hold rankings within the ITA's Carolina Region.
North Carolina will be the third nationally ranked team Navy will have faced this season. The Mids have previously lost to No. 45 BYU by the score of 5-2 and to No. 1 Virginia by the count of 8-0.
The Mids lost a 4-0 decision to North Carolina last season when the Tar Heels also were the No. 23 team in the country.
George Mason enters a Friday match at home against Davidson with a 3-1 record on the year. That mark includes a 7-0 victory over St. Bonaventure, a match that was held one day before the Mids took on the Bonnies.
The Patriots won a 4-3 decision over the Mids last season. After Navy won the doubles point, George Mason came back to win four singles matches to rally for the victory.
Howard is winless through five matches this season. Navy posted a 4-0 win over the Bison when the teams met last year in Annapolis.