Colonials Open 2011 Season at Harvard Winter Classic
Jan. 21, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC - GW's men's tennis team is set to kick off the 2011 season this weekend at the Harvard Winter Classic, pairing up against a nationally ranked (No. 64) Harvard squad and Marist at Harvard's Murr Center Tennis Courts, Jan. 21- 23.
George Washington's fifth-year head coach Greg Munoz and the Colonials have the 2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Championship title in their sights but are also looking to put GW on the national collegiate men's tennis map. Munoz guided the Colonials to an 11-10 record in 2010 and reached the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship finals for a second time in four years.
"Last season was supposed to be a great season for us, but injuries and personal issues kept us from achieving our goals," said Munoz. "We have a great new class of student-athletes, no graduates, and a brand new mind set. There are no guarantees here but we will continue to push ourselves until we break through and make it to the NCAA championships for the first time in our history. I have faith in every one of our players this year and am excited for our seniors to help lead this team to our ultimate goal, the A-10 Championship."
The Colonials led the way with three players named to the 2010 Atlantic 10 All-Conference first team, including Ugur Atalay, who was the 2009 Most Outstanding Rookie, along with Erik Hannah and Christopher Kushma. Yan Levinski was named to the All-Conference second team and Academic All-Conference team.
Atalay and Hannah began the spring 2010 season as the Campbell's /ITA College Tennis No. 29 doubles pair in the nation after posting a 4-2 record in the fall, including reaching the doubles finals of the UVA Classic. Atalay posted an overall 12-14 singles record and Hannah finished the season at 18-11 overall in singles action, with a 2-0 record at the A-10 Championship.
Kushma started off the 2009 fall season with an 11-2 singles record, finishing the season with a 25-9 overall singles record. During his winning streak, he won the Georgetown Classic and the UVA Classic with victories over singles players from No. 1 Virginia and No. 40 Nebraska. Levinski, with a 15-18 overall singles record, was named to his third straight A-10 Academic All-Conference team honor. It is also his third All-Conference team honor, after being named to the first team each of the past two seasons.
The Colonials also excelled in the classroom last season. The squad was recognized as a 2010 Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic Team, as the team earned a combined grade point average of 3.45. Individually, five Colonials were named as 2010 ITA Scholar Athletes. The men's tennis team was named the 2010 Colonial Endowment Academic Excellence Award winner as the GW men's athletic program with the highest team combined grade point average over the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters.
In the 2010 fall tournament season, the Colonials played tough competition when they traveled to two new tournaments, the USTA College Invitational in New York and the ITA/D'Novo All-American Championship in Oklahoma, as well as playing in the Georgetown Classic and ITA Atlantic Regional.
Hannah and Atalay were 6-3 this fall losing two of three matches to the nationally ranked No. 3 UVA's top-3 doubles teams. The duo also defeated nationally-ranked Arkansas and Boise State's top doubles teams at the All-American. Kushma teamed up with newcomer Alexander van Gils, a sophomore transfer from Indiana University, to put together a 6-2 doubles record in fall tournament play.
Joining returners Richard Blumenfeld and Andy Erickson on the 2011 roster are two freshmen, Viktor Svensson and Ulrik Thomsen. Svensson, a native of Angelholm, Sweden, stepped up in the fall and saw some playing time at the USTA Collegiate Invitational. Thomsen, from Copenhagen, Denmark, went 2-1 in singles at the Navy Invitational and will push for playing time for the Colonials in singles and doubles.
GW has a challenging 2011 season ahead, featuring matches against six Atlantic 10 foes, including Xavier, who defeated the Colonials in the finals of the 2010 A-10 Championship. The Colonials also will travel to face area rivals Maryland, Navy and Georgetown, as well as finish their home season versus nationally ranked Binghamton, Coach Munoz's alma mater.