2013 Willamette Men's Tennis Season Preview

Wong Tops Roster with Experience and Wins

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's tennis team, under the guidance of new Head Coach Rick Wood, will open the 2013 spring season on Sunday, Jan. 27 at Portland State University. The matchup between the Bearcats of NCAA Division III and the Vikings of NCAA Division I is set for 1 p.m. (PST) in Portland, Ore.

Leading the way for the Bearcats is senior Joshua Wong (Sr., Hilo, HI/Hilo HS), who placed second in singles at the USTA/ITA Northwest Small College Championships this past fall. He is ranked #6 in the West Region in singles according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's fall rankings.

Wong was named First Team All-Northwest Conference three times in his first three seasons at Willamette. Now he is the team's only senior and a leader for the Bearcats. Wong owns a career singles record of 34-18 in spring matches, including a record of 27-10 against Northwest Conference opponents.

During last season's trip to Hawaii, Wong, who is from Hilo, defeated Ryan Coffey from Hawaii-Hilo (NCAA Division II), 6-2, 6-2 at #1 singles.

Other returning members of the team are Devin Abney (So., Shoreline, WA/Shorecrest HS/Univ. of Redlands), Will Agnew-Svoboda (Jr., Corvallis, OR/Corvallis HS), Will Cooper (Jr., Gresham, OR/Centennial HS) and Jack Schreiber (So., Solana Beach, CA/The Grauer School).

Last year, Cooper played #4 singles, while Abney competed mostly at #5 singles. Agnew-Svoboda split time at #5 and #6 singles, while Schreiber played mostly at #6.

Abney also saw action at #2 doubles, while Cooper played in nine dual matches at #3 doubles.

The Bearcat roster includes six freshmen. Sam Wexman (Tiburon, CA/Gamiscal HS) won his first match at the Northwest Championships before losing in the second round.

Shrujan Kalidindi (Fr., Cupertino, CA/Monta Vista HS) and Colin Yamaguchi (Fr., Damascus, OR/Clackamas HS) teamed up to win a first round doubles match at the Northwest Championships, but fell in the Round of 16. Likewise, Cooper and Mathew Dees (Fr., Henderson, NV/Coronado HS) earned a first round victory in doubles before losing in the Round of 16.

Other freshmen for Willamette are Blake Brash (Fr., Boise, ID/Boise HS) and Gunnar Lee (Fr., Hilo, HI/St Joseph HS).

Wood previously was the director of tennis at Illahe Hills Country Club from 2001 through 2012. He is a graduate of Willamette, who received a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Economics in 1992.

Willamette will play its first home match of the season on Saturday, Feb. 23, when the Bearcats will host NWC opponent Pacific Lutheran University. Match time is set for 11 a.m. (PST) at the WU Tennis Courts. If weather forces the match indoors, it will be played at 11 a.m. at the Courthouse Tennis Center (1379 Madison St. NE).

Joshua Wong was a finalist in singles at  the USTA/ITA Northwest Small College Championships this past fall.

Joshua Wong was a finalist in singles at the USTA/ITA Northwest Small College Championships this past fall.

Rick Wood is in his first season as Willamette's head men's tennis coach.

Rick Wood is in his first season as Willamette's head men's tennis coach.