The men's tennis team opened up their spring season on March 14 while on a Spring Break trip in California. The team played seven matches on the trip and returned home with a 5-2 record. Despite suffering an unexpected loss to Trinity University (Texas) early on, Bowdoin recovered with key wins over ranked opponents including Redlands and NESCAC rival Trinity College.

The victory over Trinity College could prove to be essential toward the end of the season when the battle for NCAA contention takes place. The Polar Bears defeated the Bantams 5-4 when Bowdoin's No. 1 player Stephen Sullivan '11 clinched the match with a victory over ranked opponent Spencer Feldman in straight sets.

Sullivan reflected on the results of the trip.

"After losing two valuable seniors last year," he said, "it's nice to see that people are stepping it up. I think the team proved to themselves this break that we could be great."

Both Alex White '09 and Alex Caughron '09 contributed to the Polar Bears success in the 2008-2009 season but were lost to graduation.

Younger players including Kent Winingham '12, Nico Fenichell '12 and Casey Grindon '13 have stepped into the lineup and have done so with great success thus far.

The Polar Bears questioned how the team would respond to the inexperience of the younger players but so far they have been able to prove themselves against difficult opponents.

Winingham stepped into the lineup for the first time and recorded 3-0 start at No. 3 doubles. Coach Colin Joyner recognized his success and moved Winingham into the No. 1 doubles slot with Jamie Neely '10 halfway through the trip. Once Neely and Winingham teamed up, the tandem recorded a 2-1 record.

They came together to defeat the seventh-ranked doubles team in the country. Last season Neely became the No. 2-ranked team in the country with Oscar Pena '12. Unfortunately, Pena underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in January, leaving an opening at the No. 1 doubles position. So far Winingham is helping to fill the void lost when Pena went down.

Additionally, first year Casey Grindon played in the singles lineup at the six spot and recorded six wins with only one loss. Entering the season, the six spot remained a concern for the Polar Bears and was up for grabs between several players on the team. However, Grindon seized the opportunity and not only proved that he could compete against top caliber teams, but he could also produce results.

Coming up this weekend Bowdoin will look to continue their success. The team will face MIT at home today, and then travel to Tufts and Connecticut College on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, to close out the weekend.

Bowdoin is ranked above all three teams but will need to remain focused in order to continue their success moving forward.

The more experience and confidence the younger players can gather before facing the heavier competition in the NESCAC, the more likely they will be to succeed.