CASTLETON, Vt. – Following a 9-4 campaign in 2017, the Castleton University men's tennis team is eyeing a return to the North Atlantic Conference East Championship title contest for the first time since 2016.
In his 18th year, Bruce Moreton will lead the Spartan squad that sees a majority of the team's roster returning from 2017. Castleton will be led by NAC All-Conference honorees Quentin Barthe and Ryan Mulder, while adding some new names.
Barthe pioneered Castleton's winning ways from the second singles position, leading the way at 10-1 overall on the year and 5-1 in conference play. Not too far behind him, Ryan Mulder went 9-2 and 4-1 in NAC East action with much of his playing time coming from the third singles spot.
Trevor Hanna and Jared Wheeler saw the majority of action at fourth and fifth singles, going 15-4 combined. Meanwhile, Hanna and Mulder were part of a 6-2 effort in doubles play alongside Barthe and his partner at 10-2.
Dropping a nail-biter in the NAC East semifinals in 2017, Thomas College edged out Castleton by a final 5-4 tally. After the Terriers took a 2-1 lead following doubles, Quentin Barthe pulled the Spartans even. Yet, Thomas picked up three of the five possible points in singles play to move on to the final.
After its scheduled season-opening match against Norwich was postponed due to inclement weather, Castleton will travel to face Lyndon State at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The two schools will look to hold serve at Topnotch Resort in Stowe, Vt. In 2017, Castleton won both matches of the season series by a combined score of 17-1.
Returning to campus for its home-opening contest on March 24 against UMaine-Fort Kent, the Spartans will head back out on the road to close out the month. First facing Norwich, Castleton then travels for the Maine double against the University of Southern Maine and Thomas College.
In April, men's tennis begins with a home set against Lyndon State and Johnson State prior to a single road match at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The rescheduled Norwich match and road contests at Sage and Colby-Sawyer conclude the regular season.
Castleton will finally host the NAC East Divisional Championship at the Castleton Courts on April 28.
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