CHICAGO—The Illinois Institute of Technology men's tennis team will embark on their third season of competition tomorrow, Saturday, January 25 in Rock Island, Illinois with matches against Wabash College (12:00 p.m.) and Augustana (3:00 p.m.). The Scarlet Hawks progressed from a 10-12 record in their inaugural campaign in 2017-18, followed by an 18-10 mark in 2018-19 that resulted in a NACC Regular Season/Tournament Championship, and IIT's first-ever NCAA Division III Tournament appearance among all sports. Illinois Tech is destined to return and make a run in the big dance with seven returners and four newcomers on the 2020 roster.
"We had a strong recruiting class come in and the infusion of new talent will help us, especially on the doubles side," said IIT head men's and women's tennis coach Erik Scanlan. "The energy, emotion and talent they bring into practice every day is key to seeing our team grow as a whole. It's a diverse bunch that has an edge to them that will help us move forward in the rankings and stay competitive with teams toward the top of our region."
Anwar Adam, Andy Fang, Roman Shishlov and Alann Torres make up the four newcomers competing to make an immediate impact throughout the early stages of the men's tennis program, now in its third season.
Back for the Scarlet Hawks is sophomore Davis Housman, the returning singles victories leader (13). Junior Yousef Abdo returns after spending most of last season at #2 singles and #2 doubles. Junior Adam Laitinen comes back after splitting time between #3, #4, #5 and #6 singles while sophomore Mohammed Shamel rounds out the returning key cogs in the Scarlet Hawks lineup. Junior Brody Croonquist (team-leading 17 doubles wins last season), junior Jack Pio and sophomore Huy Ngo round out the IIT returners.
"Looking into the opening weekend, I think we've been training hard," said Scanlan. "Every practice has been a little more energetic than the last. It's important to have that energy, especially when you have to get up early every day. We have high expectations for this weekend and the rest of the year. The focus has been better than any other season I've been here."
The 2020 season will feature 24 regular season matches, with eight of them scheduled at the XS-Tennis Complex.
MTEN | The sounds of tennis balls making contact with the racquet>>>>>>>everything else!!! �� �� Should be a fun one tomorrow!!! pic.twitter.com/ELwlnjkr1e— Illinois Tech Athletics (@ILTechAthletics) January 24, 2020
MTEN | A few �� from today's final practice before tomorrow's season opener against Wabash and Augustana in Rock Island!! �� pic.twitter.com/q3YU3OyRt9— Illinois Tech Athletics (@ILTechAthletics) January 24, 2020