The Chattanooga men’s tennis team will open its 2013 spring season this weekend when the Mocs host No. 63 Georgia State (6 p.m.) on Friday and Tennessee State (10 a.m.) on Sunday at the Hixson Racquet Club.
It’s the second straight season UTC opens at home against a ranked opponent after kicking off 2012 by hosting No. 71 Radford.
UTC returns its top eight players from a 14-9 campaign in 2012, their best record since 2007. The Mocs have improved their win total in each of the last three seasons, and look to build on that momentum with a veteran roster, which includes seven seniors.
Senior Roberto Viera is a three-time All-Southern Conference selection, and holds down the top stop for Chattanooga. Viera was 10-8 in duals last season, and has 41-34 career record in singles action. Viera, a native of Bedfordview, South Africa, has posted a 13-9 record in doubles play.
The remaining spots in Chattanooga’s lineup have yet to be determined after the addition of three newcomers at the semester break. Sophomore Gino Delavalle, freshman John Peavey and Luke Saunders are all expected to make an impact this spring.
Manuel Barroetavena led the Mocs with a 21-8 singles record last season. The senior from Buenos Aires, Argentina started 8-2 at No. 4 before moving up in the lineup. He compiled a 9-2 record as the Mocs’ No. 3 and No. 2 during the second half of the season, which included a 9-0 run in March that earned him SoCon Player of the Month honors. He finished the fall season at 7-5, leading the team in wins.
Other returning starters include seniors Ankit Chopra, Stephen Crofford, William Disterdick, Chris Smith and Jackson Tresnana. Sophomore Pavels Grigorjevs rounds out the returning players.