Annie Hirshman ’24 (She/Her), Sports Writer
The fall season for the Davidson Men’s Tennis team has been nothing short of spectacular. After losing five seniors last spring, almost half the team, the four new freshmen had big shoes to fill and have done just that. Captain Sam Kavarana ‘22 called the start to the season “one of the best falls that we’ve had.” That is due in part to Sam himself, as Max Kachkarov ‘24 calls Kavarana the “translator” who does an excellent job at communicating the coaches’ overall message and keeping the team accountable.
“Our guys are competing well and [we’ve had] great energy from the young guys, so definitely a good start,” commented Head Coach Drew Barrett. He refers to the four freshmen as a “great group of guys, really energetic, and outgoing,” remarking on how they pick up on the personality that last year’s seniors possessed so strongly. Kavarana carries on this optimistic outlook, saying with the utmost confidence that “they all bring really good energy to the team and they’re all super committed to tennis.”
At the Queens’ Two-Day Invitational, the ‘Cats earned four doubles victories and ten total singles wins. The entire lineup played well with hard-earned wins on both singles and doubles from Kachkarov and Alejandro Solares ‘24. The ‘Cats also boasted strong freshman debuts from Juan Camilo Perez Gongora ‘25, Nico Pinzon ‘25, Udday Singh ‘25 and Luca Lovrich ‘25 — who combined won three singles matches and one doubles match. Notably, Singh is still currently undefeated in singles matches throughout the fall season.
‘Cats had strong shoes to fill following their success at the Queens Invitational. Their results at the Davidson Tournament clearly showed that they stepped up to the task at hand. On the singles courts the ‘Cats smoothly defeated the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs and Solares continued his triumph with three victories. Brooks Green ‘22 has lived up to his role as a leader in which guys on the team “look up to him,” as stated by Barrett, through earning two wins. Singh had back to back victories, proving that the freshmen are ones to watch.
The doubles court was no different. Three duos produced three wins against the Queens Royals. The allstar duos of Solares and Kachkarov, Pinzon and Gongora, Jerry Wang ‘24 and Singh, all produced convincing victories, showing how the young ‘Cats team are a force to be reckoned with this season. Continuing his success against the Royals, Kavarana won three matches. Gongora also was able to pick up two great wins.
Day two was nothing short of success as the ‘Cats picked up seven wins. The previous pairs from day ones all picked up predominant wins against Gardner-Webb. Keeping the mojo going, Solares and Kachkarov had solid performances in the singles matches against UNC- Asheville. While both fell behind in the first set, both bounced back and found success in the second and third, each picking up two wins. Green and Pinzon also picked up two wins against Asheville. The ‘Cats were able to show Asheville what team truly ruled North Carolina. Overall a great tournament for Davidson.
The ‘Cats had a stellar tournament at the UNCG Invitational last weekend. The team battled strong competitors such as Elon, UNC Asheville, and UNC-Greensboro. On Saturday, Kachkarov had a great day on the singles court, defeating both Elon’s and Asheville’s top players. The freshmen were nothing shy of outstanding, as Singh, Pinzon, and Lovrich all picked up victories on both Saturday and Sunday.
Despite the recent success, Kachkarov states that “there is always room for improvement” displaying the ‘Cats hard work ethic and desire to always improve their game and get better everyday.
Looking ahead, Coach Barrett discussed the team’s future. Doubles-wise, recent victories have led Barrett to state that the ‘Cats are going to be “pretty tough this year.” He adds that “it’s looking to be like we might be able to make some noise.” Hopefully these next few weekends are met with as much success as the previous few.
Kachkarov discusses how future matches against predominant schools such as an upcoming match against SEC and ACC powerhouse schools at the Wake Forest Invitational “is the fun part about training.” To summarize, being able to pull off huge upsets is what makes sports competitive and training worth it. Overall, Coach Barrett thinks “that anything’s possible” against these types of opponents if the team keeps a clear mind, responds well to pressure, and gives themselves a chance to reveal success. As Kavarana summarized, “It’ll be an exciting year with these guys.”