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Men's Tennis Ends Fall Season, Looks Ahead to Spring

Nov. 22, 2006

PORTLAND, Ore. --- The Portland men's tennis team ended their fall schedule last week, playing a challenging schedule that gave Coach Gross a good look at where the squad is going into the spring. The Pilots faired well at events in Cheney, Wash., San Diego, Calif., and Eugene, Ore., against some top west coast competition.

"The highlight of the fall has been how two of our seniors, Alex Strom (pictured) and Colby Jager, have really brought their games to another level in," said head coach Aaron Gross. "I have a feeling we are going to be more solid then ever at the numbers four to six positions. I am a little less settled in the top positions after graduating our top two players from last year."

Coach Gross believes the lower part of the line-up will be filled with players very capable in those spots against even the highest level of teams, with hopes that they can continue to develop and become top three players for the squad.

"But I think we can compete well at the top by relying on a small group of guys that have shown signs of having the ability to play well against top competition," Gross said. "Alex and Colby have been exceptional role players during their time here. This year they are going to be asked to step up and be some of the top dogs. From what I saw in the fall from their play on court, leadership and commitment I am extremely excited to see them in battle in the spring."

The lone true freshman, Evan Schleining of Ashland, reached the finals of the recent University of Oregon fall invitational in the second flight.

"Evan shows the potential of being a great college player at times," Gross said. "I am hopeful that the examples of commitment and professionalism of the seniors will be engrained in Evan. With that level of commitment Evan could be a force for us for the coming years."