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Medina netters prep for title defense

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 4 April 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Getting set to lead defending champion Medina into the upcoming Niagara-Orleans League tennis season are these Mustang veterans. In front are Nathan Pace, Ben Howell, Kristian Snyder and Tom Horgan. In back are Tristan Sanders, Chris Keller, Nick Dieter, Brian Bogan and Sam Busch.

Looking to fill a couple of big holes in the lineup at first singles and first doubles, two-time defending champion Medina is prepping for the April 7 Niagara-Orleans League opener at Akron.

Senior Ben Howell, who earned first team N-O All-League honors last spring, freshman Kristian Snyder, a second team selection, and senior Nathan Pace, an honorable mention, pick head Medina’s veteran contingent.

Howell, who went 10-2 at second singles, and Snyder, who went 12-0 at third singles last spring, look to man the first two singles spots. Pace, who played third singles in Thursday’s non league opener at Batavia, went 11-1 at second doubles a year ago.

The Mustangs other veterans include juniors Chris Keller, Nick Dieter, Brian Bogan, Sam Busch, Tom Horgan and sophomore Tristan Sanders.

The Mustangs key losses to graduation were Chris Horgan, a four time first team N-O All-League honoree at first singles along with second team All-League honorees Troy Fidanza and Arsalan Mustafa who manned the first doubles spot.

“We’ve got some big positions to fill,” said Coach Chris Horgan. “We’ve got some good experience for the first couple of singles spots with Ben and Kristian but after that it’s wide open. We do have some experience at doubles but our lineup will be determined by head-to-head and challenge matches. I expect the play for the doubles spots will be nip and tuck. It’s a very competitive situation and that is a nice problem to have. The big thing for us is that everyone steps up a level to fill the holes we have.”

The Mustangs underclassmen dominated roster also includes senior Mark Vanderlaan, juniors Austin Owens and Addison Zavitz, sophomores Lucas Cook, Michael Griffin, Meghan O’Keefe, Alex Snyder, Corey Strickland and Carson Zygoda along with freshmen Xion Baes, Nick Bogan, Vassilios Bitsas, Kevin Capstick, Michael Cardone, Ryan Fox, Matt Hann, Brandon Harris, Zach McAdoo and Tori Schicker.

Medina went 12-0 last spring to capture a second straight N-O title.

Medina’s schedule is as follows:
April 7 – at Akron, 4 p.m.
April 9 – Roy-Hart, 4 p.m.
April 23 – Newfane, 4 p.m.
April 25 – at Albion, 4 p.m.
April 28 – at Barker, 4 p.m.
April 30 – Wilson, 4 p.m.
May 5 – Akron, 4 p.m.
May 7 – at Roy-Hart, 4 p.m.
May 9 – at Newfane, 4 p.m.
May 12 – Albion, 4 p.m.
May 13 – Barker, 4 p.m.
May 14 – at Wilson, 4 p.m.