Sunday, October 28, 2007

Week 2: Williams

Williams enters the 2007-2008 season with a veteran team and a first year head coach. They are returning 5 of 6 starters from last year’s team who lost a heartbreaker in the NCAA Elite 8. Williams always has a lot of depth on their team and this year is no exception. I asked Coach Donn what he expects from his team this year and he said “as a coach, I will never put material goals onto our players. My goal each year is to prepare the team (both mentally and physically) as best I can for the spring season. We as a team cannot always control how well we play, but we can control how well we compete and that is the mentality I want to get out of them each year." Williams will have to be very prepared because they will face very tough opponents in their conference, the NESCAC, which is probably the toughest conference in the country and has 7 potential Top 25 teams. Williams will really need to train hard in the offseason to beat the likes of Amherst, Middlebury and Bowdoin. This will be quite a task for the Williams team who has to deal with a very rigorous academic workload. But Coach Donn said that he feels his players do a great job with their work ethic.

Williams has great depth as a team and should almost never lose at #5 and #6. As their senior captain and team leader, Dan Greenberg is looking to have a special season both for his team and as an individual. He will enter the spring season as a contender at NCAA’s and a strong #1 for Williams. The middle of Williams lineup is strong but they are vulnerable there as well as having fairly weak doubles compared to the other top teams in the country. Williams strong suit are their 4-6 players who will be very tough to beat. I expect Williams to return to the Elite 8, as I have them at #7 in the country heading into the spring. They will be tested in the NESCAC and this will prepare them well to face some of the best teams in the country. I wouldn’t expect Williams to make the Final 4, and it may take a big upset of Emory, CMS or Santa Cruz for them to do so. Williams is a solid team and they are always a threat to the big name teams, so definitely watch for this team to be a contender in the spring.

Projected Lineup
1. Greenberg/Thacher
2. Lebedoff/Simonette
3. Furmaga/Devlin
1. Dan Greenberg
2. Nick Lebedoff
3. Gary Simonette
4. Karol Furmaga
5. Rick Devlin
6. Jeremy Weinberger

Next Week: Amherst