Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Monday, March 14, 2005
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SEASON PREVIEW
MEN’S TENNIS HOPES MORE IS MERRIER
Cartolano, Bonder Earn CC Honors

Two Muhlenberg athletes have been honored for their play on the diamond during the Mules’ recent Spring Break trips.

Junior Kristina Cartolano was named Centennial Conference player of the week for softball. Cartolano hit .667 with seven RBI in 12 at-bats and also went 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. She pitched 4.1 scoreless innings in relief and hit a tie-breaking three-run triple in a 7-3 win against Staten Island. Against Eastern, Cartolano hit a two-run double, struck out eight and came within one out of pitching a shutout.

Jason Bonder

Sophomore southpaw Jason Bonder (above) was honored as CC baseball co-pitcher of the week after striking out 14 – the most by a Mule pitcher in 18 years – and allowing only three hits and one run in seven innings against Lake Erie. Making just his second career start, Bonder took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Bonder’s performance stood out especially in a week in which the Mules and their opponents averaged a combined 21 runs per game.

Figuring out the starting lineup for the Muhlenberg men’s tennis team last year didn’t require much thought: The Mules had only seven players on the roster, and one only played in a couple of matches.

The 2005 season, which is scheduled to begin tomorrow with a Matte Award match at Moravian, will be very different in terms of numbers, and the
Jeff Kraft
Kraft was 3-2 in the fall, including a win against the Haverford player who knocked him out of the CC Tournament last year.
team hopes it will make a difference in terms of wins and losses. Muhlenberg was 5-7 last spring, 2-6 in the Centennial Conference.

“[Co-captains] Jeff Kraft and I made a big effort to keep the freshman class feel a part of the team,” said senior Mitchell Reading. “We have four solid freshmen and a senior (Craig Elmore) who never played here before. He is going to be a big asset, along with the freshmen.

“We have a solid 10 this year, and we’re excited about that.”

As he did the last year-and-a-half, Kraft will play at the No. 1 spot in the singles lineup. He was 9-3 in singles play in 2004, including a 7-1 mark in the CC that earned him the top seed at the CC Individual Championships. Kraft enters the spring with a combined career record of 76-41.

Reading, Elmore and junior Brad Gutwillig will compete with each other for the second through fourth spots. Reading played third singles most of last season and owns a 49-39 career record. Gutwillig posted an 8-4 singles record at No. 4 as a sophomore. He is 32-18 for his career.

Junior Adam Nodiff, 6-6 at No. 5 singles last year, and a newcomer will round out the singles lineup. In doubles, the Mules’ new-found depth gives them many potential combinations.

As important as figuring out the best lineup will be figuring out how to win the close matches. Muhlenberg lost three straight CC matches by a 4-3 score last year, including two in which it won the doubles point.

“We’ve really been working on the mental aspect,” noted Reading. “At this level, we all have the strokes and the technique – it all comes down to discipline. If we stay mentally disciplined that will make the difference.”

The Mules open CC play with a home match against 18th-ranked Washington, the defending champion, on Saturday.


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated March 14, 2005