New coach leads UW into action

first_imgFor the Wisconsin men’s tennis team, it’s been an eventful summer. With new coach Greg Van Emburgh and a trio of highly touted recruits, Wisconsin enters the fall season rejuvenated.The nearly peerless resume of Van Emburgh provides great hope for future success with the Badgers. Van Emburgh spent four seasons at the University of Kentucky as an assistant coach before coming to Madison. During his time at Kentucky, the tennis team finished with a national ranking no lower than 15th.”Now being able to come into a great athletic environment like Wisconsin, it’s been a great transition for me and I’m really excited about it,” Van Emburgh said.UW’s tennis team added not only a new coach, but also three new players. One key addition is sophomore Nolan Polley. Coincidentally, Polley and Van Emburgh were part of the University of Kentucky tennis program last year, and both are now at Wisconsin. Polley was highly recruited and is a two-time Kentucky high school singles state champion.”I am really excited about Nolan coming with me to Wisconsin,” Van Emburgh said. “His upside is tremendous and over the next three years he will do some great things.” Joining Polley in Wisconsin’s strong recruiting class is Brennen Phippen, a transfer from Furman, and freshman Gian Hodson from Aruba.With the arrival of two sophomores and a freshman, the team is primarily composed of underclassmen. Despite the lack of experience, the team looks to build around sophomore standout Jeremy Sonkin. Earlier this week, Sonkin was ranked No. 80 in the country by collegetennisonline.com.Sonkin’s stellar freshman year included an impressive 16-5 record during the spring of 2005. His tennis success dates back to high school. During his outstanding prep school career, Sonkin showed off his prodigious athleticism, compiling an astounding record of 116-14, while never finishing worse than No. 7 in the state of Illinois during his high school years. Coach Van Emburgh realizes Sonkin’s important role on the team.”He’s probably going to hold the No. 1 position,” Van Emburgh said. “And I think he’s a guy we’re really going to hope to kind of build a little tradition around.”As the No. 1 singles player, Sonkin will function as co-captain of the team with junior Lachezar Kasarov.The team officially starts the 2005-2006 season journeying to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Invitational this weekend. The team will participate in four other tournaments this fall, including the Wisconsin Invitational, Oct. 7-9 at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.”We have a young team and a young base and it’s exciting for me,” Van Emburgh said. “I think the guys are really ready and looking forward to this first event.”last_img

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