College Sports

Queens insider: Underclassmen lead way on tennis court for Royals

Queens University of Charlotte men’s tennis player Per-Erik Soler prepares for a backhand during his No. 1 singles match against Francis Marion’s Gavin Davison on Feb. 1. Soler, a junior, is 10-1 at No. 1 singles for the Royals this season.
Queens University of Charlotte men’s tennis player Per-Erik Soler prepares for a backhand during his No. 1 singles match against Francis Marion’s Gavin Davison on Feb. 1. Soler, a junior, is 10-1 at No. 1 singles for the Royals this season. QUEENS SPORTS INFORMATION

Queens University of Charlotte tennis coach Brett Karpman isn’t overly concerned that the Royals men’s and women’s teams are dominated by underclassmen.

In fact, it’s been the on-court success of those underclassmen – and a handful of juniors – that has paved the way for another winning season for both teams.

The Royals men’s and women’s teams both are 11-2 overall and 6-2 in South Atlantic Conference play through matches April 7 – the sixth consecutive winning season for both squads.

“These players have come in and really reflected where we had them on the recruiting board,” said Karpman, a former UNC Wilmington assistant who took over as the Royals’ coach in 2007. “They’ve done really well. That’s allowed us to make a giant step forward this season.”

On the men’s side, there are just three juniors in the lineup, including No. 1 Per-Erik Soler. Soler, a native of Nice, France, is 13-3 this season and has been named SAC Player of the Week three times.

The rest of the lineup is underclassmen – six sophomores, three freshmen – led by sophomores Zachary Williams and Jules Athalis. Williams, of Georgetown, Texas, is 13-2 playing primarily at No. 6 singles, while Athalis, of Bourges, France, is 11-5 at No. 2 singles.

The women’s team is even more dominated by underclassmen – six sophomores and three freshmen – led by freshmen Carlotta Nassi and Caroline Nielsen.

Nassi, of Livorno, Italy, is 10-1 in singles this season, all at the No. 1 spot, while Nielsen, of Brussels, Belgium, is 11-1 primarily playing the No. 4 spot.

Three others also have winning singles records: sophomore Jaclyn Rock is 9-2, primarily at No. 5; and sophomores Marta Gonzalez and Claire Hamilton are both 8-2, at No. 3 and No. 6, respectively.

“We consider this one program, not two,” Karpman said. “Even though training is completely separate, when we travel together, it becomes a big unit. So there’s support from each team. It’s been a tremendous thing, especially dealing with the cultures of so many international players, to have that family unity has been one of our strengths this year.”

Lewis is NCCSIA All-State

Men’s basketball player Rob Lewis was one of 10 players named to the N.C. Collegiate Sports Information Association’s college division all-state team.

Lewis, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, was named to the second team, with UNC Pembroke forward Brandon Winford, Pfeiffer guard A.J. Clark, Saint Augustine guard Raheem Joliffe and Mount Olive guard Kendall Hargrove.

Lewis averaged 16.3 points per game for the Royals this season and passed the 1,000-point career scoring mark. He was named to the SAC’s all-conference second team.

NCCSIA selects all-state teams in both the university (for NCAA Division I schools) and college (Division II, Division III and NAIA) divisions in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball.

Royals 19th in Directors’ Cup standings

Queens’ athletic program was 19th in the Learfield Sports’ Directors’ Cup standings for NCAA Division II schools after the winter sports season, one of two SAC programs in the top 25.

The Royals picked up 241 points from their winter sports programs, which included NCAA Division II titles in men’s and women’s swimming, to improve to a 2014-2015 total of 316 points.

Grand Valley State (Mich.) leads the Directors’ Cup standings with 600 points, with Mesa (Colo.) second with 490.5 and fellow SAC member Wingate third at 436.5.

The Directors’ Cup is co-sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and honors schools that maintain a broad-based athletics program.

The cup is awarded annually to the top athletic programs in NCAA Division I, II and III; the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); and junior college and community colleges.

Cheerleading tryouts April 17-18

Queens’ cheerleading program will hold tryouts for its 2015-2016 squad from 5:30-7:30 p.m. April 17 and 10 a.m.-12 p.m. April 18 at the Levine Center’s Curry Arena.

April 17, all candidates will learn the tryout material for sideline cheer and dance routines, as well as be evaluated on stunting abilities. The next day, candidates will perform the tryout material, as well as required jump series and tumbling skills in front of the judges.

Before tryouts, candidates must have a completed Prospective Student-Athlete Form (signed by a parent or guardian if younger than 18), proof of current enrollment or acceptance to Queens, and a tryout packet including physical exam and insurance information.

For more information, email townsendl@queens.edu.

Bill Kiser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Bill? Email him at bkisercltobs@gmail.com.

Upcoming events

April 16

▪ Men’s tennis: at South Atlantic Conference tournament, Brevard.

▪ Women’s tennis: at SAC tournament, Brevard.

▪ Men’s lacrosse: at SAC tournament semifinals, Queens Sports Complex, 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

April 17

▪ Men’s track and field: at SAC championships, Hickory.

▪ Women’s track and field: at SAC championships, Hickory.

▪ Women’s lacrosse: at SAC tournament semifinals, Queens Sports Complex, 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

April 18

▪ Men’s track and field: at SAC championships, Hickory.

▪ Women’s track and field: at SAC championships, Hickory.

▪ Men’s lacrosse: at SAC tournament championship game, Queens Sports Complex, 2 p.m.

▪ Women’s lacrosse: at SAC tournament championship game, Queens Sports Complex, 5 p.m.

April 19

▪ Men’s golf: at SAC championships, Marvin.

▪ Softball: vs. Carson-Newman, Park Road Park, 1 p.m. (doubleheader).

April 20

▪ Men’s golf: at SAC championships, Marvin.

April 21

▪ Men’s golf: at SAC championships, Marvin.

April 24

▪ Men’s track and field: at Penn Relays, Philadelphia, Pa.

▪ Women’s track and field: at Penn Relays, Philadelphia, Pa.

April 25

▪ Men’s track and field: at Penn Relays, Philadelphia, Pa.

▪ Women’s track and field: at Penn Relays, Philadelphia, Pa.

April 26

▪ Men’s lacrosse: vs. Lake Erie, Queens Sports Complex, 1 p.m.

April 29

▪ Men’s track and field: at Liberty Twilight Qualifier, Lynchburg, Va.

▪ Women’s track and field: at Liberty Twilight Qualifier, Lynchburg, Va.

Source: www.queensathletics.com

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