If winning championships is the type of thing you’re into, then take a glance at the Castleton Men’s tennis team.For the second consecutive year, and the third time in four years, the Spartans have raised the North Atlantic Conference Championship trophy, defeating Johnson State College 5-4.
“What separates our team from other teams in the conference is we have talent at every seed,” said sophomore Jessee Maranda.
Maranda, who was the NAC player of the week twice this season, says he can’t wait to bring a three-peat to C-Town.
Castleton put up a stellar 8-4 record this season and the future for Castleton tennis looks even brighter. Of the eight man roster, Castleton suited one freshman, four sophomores, two juniors and only one senior. The whole starting lineup returns to the courts for Castleton again next spring.
“Johnson is our biggest rival and they lose their two top players. Unless they do some serious recruiting we feel like we are in the driver seat for a three peat,” said junior Jeremy Henderson.
Tennis is viewed as an individual event sport, but the Spartans pride themselves on the fact that they won all three doubles events in the tournament.
“Most people on campus don’t even know that we have won two championships in a row,” said Maranda who is frustrated with the lack of recognition this school gives to the tennis program despite the fact they are arguably the most successful team this campus has, and without a doubt the most dominant spring sport.
The only downfall to the Spartans success is the lack of teams they have in their conference. Because there are only four men’s tennis teams in the NAC, they are not eligible for national tournament play despite their overwhelming success.
The NCAA demands that there are six teams in a conference in order to play in the National Tournament. The Spartans along with the rest of the NAC is trying desperately to add at least two colleges.
Among the candidates to enter the NAC are Norwich University, Green Mountain College and Lyndon State College.
Steps have already been taken to add teams to the conference, but until anything has become official the only thing the Spartans can do is, sit and hope for their chance to play in a future national tournament.