Team Happy with Fourth Place National Finish
Windsor, N.J. -- With a fourth place finish nationally, Head
Coach Marc Vecchiolla reports that the men's tennis team exceeded
expectations admirably. Earning a final record of 13-4, the
Vikings played more matches than in past years against some
very good teams - and with fewer numbers on the roster.
"This was a hard working group of guys. We only had six
players all season and not one of them ever missed a match,"
In the NJCAA Division III Men's National Tennis Championships,
held in Plano, TX, from May 14-18, MCCC advanced six flights
to the semifinals: no. 2 singles player Travis Vigil; no.
4 Jeff Castera; no. 5 Elias Deleon; and no. 6 Luis Morales;
and in doubles action, no. 1 partners Josh Partyka and Adam
Czaplinski; and no. 2 doubles partners Virgil and Castera.
Czaplinski won his consolation draw at no. 3 singles.
20 points placed the Vikings fourth out of 11 teams. Gloucester
won the tournament for the third year in a row with 34 points,
followed by the Community College of Rhode Island (29.5 points)
and Nassau Community College (29 points).
Vecchiolla has plenty of praise to spread around for his 2012
team members. Topping the list is Virgil, who finished the
season with a combined singles and doubles record of 35-12
and a 60-24 record in his two-year career. "Travis is
a class act both on and off the court," Vecchiolla said.
"He has an all-around game, solid versatile serve, penetrating
groundstrokes, and crisp volleys." Vecchiolla twice selected
him as Mercer's Athlete of the Week this season.
Vecchiolla also singled out Castera's work ethic and output
as setting a great example. With a season record of 37-10,
he had the team's best record overall. Josh Partyka, playing
no. 1, made tremendous progress in the most challenging flight.
"Josh never quits on a point," the proud coach observed,
while Czaplinski had a "forehand like a cannon."
Vecchiolla said Morales, at no. 6 singles, made huge strides,
jumping into the starting line-up from his no. 9 position
on the 2011 squad.
At the Region 19 Tournament played at the Mercer County Park
Tennis Center May 4-5, Virgil and Castera were singles finalists.
They also made it to the finals as partners at no. 2 doubles.
Other MCCC finalists were Czaplinski and DeLeon. The Vikings
came in second in the tournament, behind Gloucester, which
won every flight. Brookdale Community College came in third.
All Region 19 Second Team selections include Travis Virgil
at no. 2 singles and no. 2 doubles, Adam Czaplinski at no.
3 singles, Jeff Castera at no. 4 singles and no. 2 doubles,
and Elias DeLeon at no. 5 singles.
Vikings tennis team at nationals in Plano, TX, front row, from
left, team manager Alison Noll, Josh Partyka, Adam Czaplinski
and Travis Virgil; back row, from left, Head Coach Marc Vecchiolla,
Jeff Castera, Elias DeLeon, Assistant Coach Barb Pleva, and
2 Travis Virgil warms up at the Mercer County Park Tennis Center
ealier in the season.
Castera reached the national seminfinal round at no. 4 singles
and with no. 2 doubles partner Travis Virgil.
exodus of five sophomores, DeLeon will be the lone returning
player next year. Named the team's first 2012 Athlete of the
Week, DeLeon was selected based on his clutch play in a "match
for the ages" against Suffolk (NY) on April 4. With the
teams tied 4-4, DeLeon hung on to win a four-hour marathon
to deliver the victory to Mercer.
Vecchiolla is already looking towards 2013 with great enthusiasm.
"There is a lot of interest for next year," he said.
"We expect to fill most positions with talented players."
He notes that Gloucester will lose some members of its talented
squad, so "next year should be interesting."
Vecchiolla was assisted by Barb Pleva and Ralph Bencivengo.
The team manager was MCCC no. 1 women's player Alison Noll,
who won her second national singles title in October. Vecchiolla
credits Noll with making major contributions at practices,
conducting drills and feeding balls to help players as they
worked on essential skills.
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