Pirates Open 2014 Season Friday At North Carolina

UABSPORTS.COM Nicolas Soriano
Nicolas Soriano

Jan. 15, 2014

GREENVILLE, N.C. --- The East Carolina men's tennis team will open its 2014 season Friday afternoon against 43rd-ranked North Carolina at 2:30 p.m. at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center on the UNC Campus. The Pirates are winless in seven previous matches with the Tar Heels.

ECU returns five of their top six players from last year's squad that compiled a 16-6 overall record. Senior Joran Vliegen returns after earning All-Conference USA honors in singles and doubles last season. Vliegen posted a 19-2 singles record and teamed with Colin Roller for a 17-1 doubles record, which culminated with the duo representing ECU in it's first-ever NCAA Championships. Roller finished with an 11-7 singles mark playing at the No. 5 and 6 positions.

Vliegen is ranked 23rd nationally as a singles player and 53rd as a doubles team with Roller.

Junior Nicolas Soriano is back after posting a 16-3 singles record at the No. 2 position in 2013 along with classmates Ross Nigro and Patriek Wolterbeek with senior Mario Martinez and sophomore Blake Gregory also returning. Redshirt freshman Jared Morris compiled a 7-1 record in the fall and will see his first dual match action this spring.

"When we reflect on the success we had last season, we know it was the due to the fact that we learned how to come together as a team," head coach Shawn Heinchon commented. "The chemistry on our team was a huge factor in helping us to elevate our play."



Joining the team are a trio of freshman: Diego Choque, Miles Holvoet and Fredric Lehfeldt. Choque joined the team prior to the start of the 2014 semester, while Holvoet and Lehfeldt each participated in three tournaments during the fall semester. Holvoet posted an unblemished 7-0 record in the fall and earned a singles ranking of 110th to start the spring season.

"We have the talent and leadership on our team to be a nationally ranked program, and as long as our daily work stays at a high level, we have the opportunity to reach our goals," Heinchon stated.

The Pirates have four ranked opponents on their schedule this season.

"This spring we will face one of the more difficult schedules than we have had in years," Heinchon explained. "Our team is excited for the opportunity to show just how well we stack up against some of the best programs in the country."