Reinforcements for an already experienced roster have given coach Steve Tyler hope for a turnaround in his fifth season as Central College men’s tennis coach.
Eleven letterwinners, including five of six starters, return from last year’s squad. The Dutch dropped to sixth place in the Iowa Conference, but Tyler saw plenty of promise to assure him that a breakthrough to the top is realistic.
Junior Kyle Freischlag has steadily moved his way up the lineup and will lead the charge at No. 1 singles. Freischlag was 3-16 at the No. 2 position last year and 9-11 at No. 4 as a freshman. He’s a veteran in the doubles lineup with two years of varsity experience.
Newcomer West Adelman of Geneva, Ill., has quickly forced his way into the picture. He posted a 4-0 singles mark in the fall and won the flight six singles title at the Ashford Invitational. Adelman will play the No. 2 position.
Sophomore Collin Schares returns to the No. 3 spot where he compiled an 8-10 mark in his rookie campaign.
Tim Kahl, last year’s most valuable freshman, slides up to No. 4 after a 12-7 record at the No. 5 slot. He placed third in the B flight of the individual conference tournament in the fall.
There’s a three-way battle for the final two positions. Junior Zane Hendricks will get the initial nod at No. 5 while senior Pat Daly takes over No. 6, but sophomore Josh Forst will also be rotated in throughout the season.
Hendricks was 7-13 at No. 4 singles last year.
After limited court time in the spring, Daly posted a 4-1 mark in the fall. He captured the flight C league title in 2010.
Forst took runner-up honors in the B flight of the individual league tourney. He also helped compile a 9-11 record at No. 2 doubles last season.
John Seier will also get a hard look. He posted a 10-8 mark at No. 6 in his freshman campaign.