Men’s tennis preps for spring season

Hopes are high as the Youngstown State University men’s tennis team returns to the court for its spring season.

Head coach Mark Klysner said the team worked hard over break and looks to build off the fall season.

“We had a good fall season,” Klysner said. “I think we should be able to have another good season in the spring.”

The Penguins will look to their senior Tariq Ismail to lead them through the season. Tariq Ismail went 3-4 in singles play. He teamed with freshman Dawoud Kabli in doubles and finished 5-3.

Klysner said he hopes Tariq Ismail leaves YSU on a solid note after the spring season concludes. 

“He is our senior leader, no doubt about it,” Klysner said. “I know the other guys are anxious to give him the best senior year possible.”

Klysner is also looking for improvement from Kabli.

In his first season of collegiate tennis, Kabli went 4-4 in singles play and had a doubles record of 6-4, teaming with Tariq Ismail and sophomore Victor Theorin.

“I knew of his ability coming into the fall, so I knew what I was getting,” Klysner said. “He played very well in his first season. He is very coachable; he just soaks up information like a sponge.”

Klysner is also looking for contributions from a trio of sophomores.

Max Schmerin, Zeeshan Ismail and Rodrigo Campos all return, looking to build their fall seasons.

In singles, they combined to go 18-11 for the Penguins. Zeeshan Ismail went 9-2 in singles, ending the season on a seven-game winning streak.

“I really think those guys can all have great seasons for us,” Klysner said. “They all have another year under their belt and have some experience competing in the Horizon League.”

The Penguins open the season on Saturday, traveling to New York to take on St. Bonaventure University. The team will have its first home matchup on Feb. 10 when it hosts Chicago State University.