Jan. 24, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - With one season under his belt, Gonzaga University men's tennis head coach Peter MacDonald is up beat about the aggressiveness and spirit of the 2007 Bulldog men's tennis team.
"I feel like we should have a very competitive season," said MacDonald. "We have the fight in us to be competitive and will have a chance in each and every match we play this season."
In order for Coach MacDonald's vision to come true, the Bulldogs will turn to a talented group of returning veterans, as well as some key newcomers to help boost the Zags' level of play.
One of the seasoned veterans MacDonald will turn to is Bryce Cooper. Cooper, who red shirted last season due to an injury, had an outstanding sophomore season in which he earned a 12-9 record playing in the No. 1 spot.
"Bryce has worked hard on his conditioning and his strength," stated MacDonald. "As a result, he has improved tremendously since I came to Gonzaga last September. I am excited for him and believe he will have another great year."
Another veteran who is expected to make an impact is Brett Womack. Womack will return to the top of the lineup this season after playing in the No. 2 slot as a junior.
"Brett has worked quite a bit on his baseline game," said MacDonald. "His passing shots have improved greatly since last season. Brett has always put in a strong effort, both on and off the court, and as a result I expect his work to payoff."
Joining Cooper and Womack in the top half of the lineup will be newcomer Roman Dojcak. A native of Slovakia, Dojcak has been ranked among the European Tennis Association's Top 50 and is expected to make an immediate impact for the Bulldogs.
"Roman has the heart of a lion out on the court," said MacDonald. "He is a very exciting player to watch. When he is out there playing, he draws attention because he is so passionate about the game. For a freshman to play near the top of the lineup it is a pretty exciting thing."
Also providing an impact in the starting lineup will be Cooper Fratt and newcomer Zach Radetzky. Last season, Fratt posted a 5-7 record at No. 4 while Radetzky joins the Bulldogs as a proven player from Canada.
"Last season Cooper had a strong doubles game and did well at the No. 4," said MacDonald. "He has improved since he joined the program two years ago and, with the way he is playing right now, I have a feeling he is going to have a great season.
"Zack has an all court game and is able to adapt his tactics and strategies based on what it takes to be able to beat his opponents and their game style."
The Zags will face a schedule that is full of tough regional competition, including a visit to No. 18 University of Washington, and matches against West Coast Conference opponents University of Portland, Santa Clara University, Saint Mary's College and the University of San Francisco. Gonzaga will close out the regular-season at the WCC Tournament in San Diego which will feature defending national champion Pepperdine University.
Despite the challenging schedule, MacDonald remains optimistic about the upcoming season.
"If we focus on our execution, and play in matches like we do in practice, we should have a good season," added MacDonald. "That's just the name of the game."
The Bulldogs will open the 2007 spring season Friday when they travel to Eugene, Ore. to face the University of Oregon. Saturday, GU will face WCC foe Portland at Portland before returning to Eugene to match-up with the University of Nevada on Sunday.