Michigan Tech will open its men's tennis season this weekend with a new-look squad. The Huskies will have four new players in the lineup including the top three flights as they look to return to the upper echelon of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Tech lost its top three players from a year ago in No. 1 singles player Anders Sandholm, No. 2 Luka Stupar and No. 3 Doug Yossida. Those three combined for 34 wins in helping the Huskies to a 9-12 record in 2012.
The 2013 lineup will continue to feature an international flavor with players from Brazil, Mexico and Thailand.
Felipe dos Santos (Valindos, Brazil), a junior who transferred from Harford Community College (Md.), assumes the top spot with a strong all-around game. The 6-0 dos Santos should be able to use his mobility and court sense to play with the best opposing teams have to offer.
Javier Oliveros (San Luis Potosi, Mexico), brother of former women's player Silvia Oliveros, will likely play No. 2 singles. The sophomore possesses the shots to rally against anyone. The right-hander hits a heavy ball from both the forehand or backhand.
Built Yumuang is a freshman with a high upside. The Bangkok, Thailand, native has tremendous court coverage with his speed and agility. He is penciled in at No. 3 singles, but could push for one of the top two spots as the season progresses.
Jimmy Konarske (Troy, Mich.) and Pedro Rodriguez (Durango, Mexico) will battle for the No. 4 spot. Konarske has played the last two seasons at No. 4 singles, compiling a 14-21 record at the position. The 6-2 junior will use his height and match experience to try to hold on to his spot.
Rodriguez, a junior transfer from South Carolina Lancaster, can play with pace but also has the shots to set up and put away points. He is ranked 14th in the Midwest Region, and will be a valuable asset for the Huskies anywhere in their lineup.
Brothers Andrew and Nick Kremkow (both from Hudsonville, Mich.) will vie for the sixth and final spot. Andrew returns for his final season as team captain in 2013. The 6-2 senior native has 43 collegiate singles matches under his belt. Nick is a freshman looking to make an immediate impact on the squad.
Two others on the roster are working hard on cracking the top six in senior Bryan Bartelt (Wales, Wis.) and freshman Luke Doskey (Houghton, Mich.). Bartelt, who played No. 6 singles last season, is one of only three returning Huskies with experience.
Tech has 23 matches on its spring schedule starting with a pair in Wisconsin on Saturday (Feb. 2). The Huskies will play six of those 23 at home and five during a spring break trip to Hilton Head, S.C., Mar. 9-14. Tech's conference schedule starts Feb. 16 vs. Lake Erie and concludes with the GLIAC Tournament April 19-21.