April 28, 2009

Six Lyons selected to NEWMAC All-Conference second team

WORCESTER, MA- The Wheaton College men's tennis team was well represented at Tuesday's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) postseason meeting at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), as six different Lyons were voted to the all-conference second team.

Sophomore Harry Altman (Riverdale, NY/The Dwight School) picked up a pair of honors at fourth singles and third doubles.  Freshman Neall Oliver (Portland, ME/Deering) and sophomore Cullen Garrity (Middletown, MD/Saint James School) earned singles laurels in the first and sixth positions, respectively, while sophomore Brian Krantz (Milford, CT/Joseph A. Foran) completed the third doubles slot with Altman.  Senior Nii Manfoi Davies (Town & Country, MO/The Principia) and junior Kyle Hudgins (Uxbridge, MA/Uxbridge) rounded out the all-conference choices with a nod at second doubles.

Altman leads the team with 13 singles wins, having gone 13-5 overall, 12-4 in dual matches and 4-1 in league play.  At 8-1 from the fourth slot, he won his final four regular season matches while earning victories in eight of his last nine completed matches.  Twice named NEWMAC Player of the Week, Altman defeated league foes from Babson College, Clark University, Springfield College and the United States Coast Guard Academy and fell to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) counterpart.  Eleven of his 13 victories came in straight sets, while two of his losses were to Division II opponents.

Altman and Krantz teamed up for a 10-3 record, including an impressive 9-2 mark from the third spot, as the tandem tied for the team lead in doubles wins.  Winners of their final four regular season matches while going 8-1 in their last nine, they were victorious in four of their five conference contests.  The duo downed its NEWMAC competition from Babson, Clark, Coast Guard and Springfield and fell to MIT.  After their March 8 loss to Division II Brevard College, Altman and Krantz put together a four-match winning streak before capturing five straight late in the season.

From his top singles position, Oliver tied for third on the team in victories with 10.  He had seven dual-match triumphs, going 3-2 in the NEWMAC while besting conference foes from Clark, Coast Guard and Springfield.

After appearing in only two singles matches in his first year and a half of college tennis, Garrity moved into the starting lineup on April 3 due to a teammate's injury and notched a 5-2 mark during the spring. He went 2-1 in league play, downing opponents from Clark and Coast Guard but falling to an MIT foe.

Davies and Hudgins combined to go 9-6, including a 7-4 record from the second position and a 3-2 mark in the conference.  A winner of its final three regular season matches while posting a 6-4 record in its last 10 contests, the duo defeated league foes from Babson, Clark and Springfield.  In their two conference setbacks, Davies and Hudgins dropped a 9-8 decision to MIT and a 9-7 outcome to Coast Guard.

The Lyons finished the season 11-7 overall, including 3-2 in NEWMAC play, having advanced to the conference tournament semifinals for the seventh straight year and for the 10th time in the league's 11-year history.  During the postseason, third-seeded Wheaton downed number-six Clark before falling to second-seeded Babson in the semifinals. The youthful Lyons, who finished the season 11-4 after an 0-3 start, received 42 of their 62 singles triumphs this year from underclassmen, who played a role in 24 of 33 doubles victories.

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