With a squad primarily made up of sophomores, 2010-11 had all the makings of a rebuilding year for the Kenyon College men's tennis team. However, those sophomores made the season a memorable one by aptly filling the roles vacated by the 2010 seniors, one of the most accomplished groups in program history.
Despite their youth, the 2011 Lords extended two important streaks. They won Kenyon's fifth-straight North Coast Athletic Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the tenth consecutive season.
The Lords began their dual match schedule with consecutive losses to No. 2-ranked Amherst College and Division I University of Toledo. Despite the setbacks, the top-notch competition helped the Kenyon men hone their game for an impressive run which followed.
After the 0-2 start, the Lords rattled off seven-straight wins before seeing the streak halted against No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Kenyon rebounded quickly, though, and concluded the regular season with another seven game run.
The surge of momentum propelled Kenyon into the NCAC tournament, which it won for the ninth time in the past ten seasons. The ride continued for the Lords with two more wins to advance to the national quarterfinals for the third time in four seasons. Unfortunately, the Lords' journey down the tournament trail ended there with a 5-2 setback against No. 5 Washington (Mo.) University.
At the conclusion of the season, the Lords garnered the program's highest ever end-of-season ranking by slotting seventh in the final Campbell's/Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. Kenyon was more than worthy of the lofty ranking with a final record of 19-4 and a 9-3 mark versus teams in the Top 30.
Senior Jeremy Polster led six Lords selected to the All-NCAC team as the conference's Player of the Year. Sophomore Paul Burgin joined Polster as an All-NCAC first-team selection and was named the ITA's Central Region Player to Watch. The two also gained entry to the NCAA Division III singles championship bracket.
Polster was doubly busy in the individual tournament with an invite to participate alongside sophomore C.J. Williams in the doubles bracket. Polster and Williams finished the season as the tenth-ranked pairing in the country and earned All-America status on the strength of their 19-6 record.