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Men's Tennis 2016-2017 Season In Review


May 30, 2017 The Loyola University Maryland men's tennis year was highlighted by junior Blest Jones who set the school all-time singles record with 67 victories late in the 2016-2017 season.

Jones' victory in an April 17 match against Rider gave him 67 for his career, eclipsing the mark set by John McConnell from 1999-2003, and he also became Loyola's first-ever All-Patriot League honoree in tennis, earning second team honors following the season. Jones had 18 singles wins and an impressive 9-5 mark against Patriot League foes, and he added a team-best 14 doubles wins with Brett Shriver in doubles.

Jones was voted the team's Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row by his teammates. As a sophomore in 2015-16, he set Loyola's single-season singles record with 32 victories. In the fall of 2016, Jones won the 'A' flight singles at the Patriot League Kickoff Invitational and was a doubles finalist with Shriver. He later won four matches to take the consolation title at the St. Joseph's Invitational.

The Greyhounds co-captains, senior Matt Bejian and junior Reid Burch, helped Loyola to a successful and competitive 2016-17 season that was enhanced with 4-3 wins over St. Francis Brooklyn and North Carolina Central with clinching wins by Burch and freshman Matt Fitzmaurice, respectively.

Sophomore C.J. Cash led Loyola with 19 singles wins, going 8-3 against Patriot League foes, and he teamed with Burch at No. 2 doubles for 13 wins to add to his 25 victories as a freshman. Cash reached the finals of the 'D' singles flight at the Patriot League Kickoff Tournament and was a doubles finalist there with Burch. Cash won three singles matches at the Loyola Invitational, finishing in fourth place with Burch. He also reached the consolation final in singles at the St. Joseph's Invitational.

Burch had 12 victories at the No. 3 slot with an impressive win against Navy. He reached the singles semifinals at the Mount St. Mary's Invitational and was a doubles finalist with Cash at the Patriot League Kickoff Tournament during the fall.

Junior Tyler Blessing had the third-most singles wins on the team (15), playing at the No. 4 spot with quality dual-match victories against North Carolina Central, Delaware and Navy. At the Loyola Invitational in the fall, Blessing was a perfect 4-for-4 in singles play with victories over two Villanova players and foes from Johns Hopkins and Mount St. Mary's.

Sophomore Brian Hoffarth played a very competitive No. 2 singles with 11 wins, and he teamed with Kyle Gower to post nine wins at No. 3 doubles, three coming as the clinching doubles points for Loyola. Hoffarth also won the 'A' flight singles consolation at the Patriot League Kickoff Invitational.

Gower won all three of his singles matches at the Loyola Invitational and won 12 doubles matches overall.

Fitzmaurice, a freshman made a positive impact in his first year for the Greyhounds with eight victories at No. 6 singles with a clinching three-set victory against North Carolina Central. He was also 2-3 against Patriot League teams.

Bejian competed in his final campaign with six singles wins and four doubles victories with sophomore J.J. Good. Bejian ended his four-year career with 22 singles and 21 doubles victories, earning the team's Most Dedicated Player Award from his teammates.

Senior John Ferruzzi finished his career with 12 singles wins and 15 doubles victories while the team was 40-38 during his four seasons. Senior Max Shanbrom's career was shortened due to injury, but he posted 14 singles and 15 doubles triumphs during his career. Conor Skelton and John Rast combined for five singles and doubles victories during their careers.

Head Coach Rick McClure extended a special thank you to the five seniors – Bejian, Ferruzzi, Skelton, Rast and Shanbrom – for their many positive contributions, especially as scholars and role models in the classroom and on the court.

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