Dec. 13, 2001
Armed with an exceptionally strong young team comprised of one senior, three juniors, five sophomores, and three freshmen, the Brown men's tennis team has steadily climbed up the regional standings and begins the 2001-02 campaign as the number one team overall. Coach Jon Choboy's team fully expects to begin the season as a top 40 team nationally and with a goal to finish much higher at the end of the season.
Four years ago, Brown was 15th in the region and did not hold a national ranking. As a credit to its players, Brown has been able to climb to the top of the region and become a force nationally as well. By virtue of winning the ECAC championships in October and claiming the number one position in the region, Brown will represent Region I at the National Team Indoors in February in Louisville, Ky. "It is a tremendous honor to represent the region and compete with the top teams in the country, " said Choboy.
For the third straight year, the Bears have sent players to the nationals. Freshmen Nicholas Goldberg and Adil Shamasdin became regional champions and compiled a 10-0 regional record in the process. They competed in the Omni Hotel National Championships in Dallas and presently hold a national ranking of 25. It is the second time in three years Brown has had a freshmen reach the National Championship Tournament. Justin Natale represented Brown in 1999.
The Bears fully expect to be in contention for the Ivy Championship and bring the title to Brown for the first time in history. "It has always been our top goal and expectation to win the Ivy Championship" said coach Choboy. "People are so surprised when they learn of just how deep and strong the Ivy League is in tennis. Five of the eight Ivy teams were ranked in the top 75 in 2001 and there might even be more than that in 2002."
The Bears look to carry that reputation even farther on the national level in 2001-02. The Ivy League is among the top four toughest tennis conferences in the country. The Bears boast one of the toughest national schedules in the region with opponents such as Florida, South Florida, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia, Tulane, Purdue, and Fresno State. These are just some of the teams we play outside the Ivy League.
With a very strong core of returning players in Jamie Cerretani, Ben Brier, Justin Natale, J.R. Argo, and Kris Goddard, anchored by captains Nick Malone and Chris Drake, Brown's future is very bright. With the addition of three highly touted freshmen in Nicholas Goldberg, Adil Shamasdin, and Branko Kolvek, the Bears now have the depth necessary to win the Ivy Championship, earn a birth to the NCAA tournament, and break into the top 25 in the country.
Freshmen Nick Goldberg joins the Bears from Albuquerque, NM. Nick finished his junior career as the number one ranked singles player out of the Southwest section and number 18 in the United States. He was also the 3rd ranked doubles player in the United States. Nick finished his junior career with a quarterfinal showing at the National Clay Court Championships as well as a semifinal appearance in doubles. He also reached the round of 32 at the National Hardcourts at Kalamazoo Michigan.
Freshman Adil Shamasdin from Ontario Canada joins the Bears as the second ranked player in Ontario. Adil finished as the 5th ranked singles player in Canada and the number one doubles player overall. He has won three national doubles tittles as well as an ITF doubles title, and has made the finals and semifinals of two open tournaments and has a victory over three-time Canadian National Champion Peter Richman. Also joining the Bears from Ontario, Canada is freshman Branko Kolvek, who comes in as the number one ranked player in Ontario. Branko finished as the 3rd ranked singles player in Canada and the 7th ranked doubles player overall. Branko has made the finals and semifinals of two consecutive ITF tournaments.
Co-captain Nick Malone returns for his final season, and enters his senior campaign as one of the highest ranked players in the region in singles, and one half of the regions top doubles team with partner Jamie Cerretani. Nick and Jamie made the NCAA's in doubles last season as the top ranked doubles team in the region. Nick also garnered several more Ivy League awards as First Team in singles and doubles.
Chris Drake returns for his junior season and is expected to play in our top three in singles. Chris has posted a 11-3 record in Ivy League play in his first two seasons. He and the since graduated Chris Wolfe, were ranked eighth in doubles in the region for most of the 2000-01 campaign. Chris and his new partner, Benjamin Brier, are presently ranked 9th in the region. Chris has played and concentrated on weight training full-time this past summer and the Bears expect a very strong year from him.
Also returning for his sophomore season is Ivy League and Region I Rookie of the Year Jamie Cerretani. Jamie is the fourth Brown freshman in the last three years to make the Nationals. Jamie and Nick Malone qualified for the 2001 NCAA tournament in doubles and fell to Virginia Commonwealth's Moser and Marquardt, the tournament's fifth seed, 7-6,6-3. Another top six returner is sophomore Benjamin Brier who heads into the 2001-02 campaign as the regions 23rd ranked singles player and paired with Chris Drake holds down the ninth position in doubles.
Heading into the 2001-02 season Brown will be strong at all positions and has plenty of depth to back up all positions. This year's squad is the deepest team in coach Choboy's tenure as head coach, and it will be a necessity considering the level of the national schedule the Bears play.