Courtesy of UR Athletics

Senior Brian Rice has been a member of UR’s Varsity tennis team since his freshman year. He started off the 2011-12 season going 3-4 in singles and 6-4 in  doubles at No. 1. Playing with doubles partner sophomore Boris Borovcanin, the two made it into the finals of the St. Lawrence Invitational in the Flight A Doubles tournament and reached quarterfinals at the ITA Regional Championships.

His doubles success has continued into the spring season as the pair has defeated opponents from Roberts Wesleyan College, Chapman University and now Ithaca College. After tough matches in California, Rice returned to the east coast more than prepared for Ithaca this past weekend. He easily won singles 6-2, 6-3 at No. 2 and doubles with Borovcanin 8-3 at No. 1.

Rice’s positive outlook and friendly attitude can be deceiving —  once he steps on the court, his game is not taken lightly, as he pulls out the tricks and strategies necessary to overpower his opponents. Rice wanted to thank his assistant coaches Amanda Stone and James McGuire for all their commitment to helping the team improve their work ethic, technique and strategy.

What is your major?

When did your tennis career begin?
In seventh grade when I played on the high school team. I played on Varsity for six years.

What are your strengths and weaknesses on the court?

My strength is that I’m a tricky player. I have a lot of variety in my shots, but I don’t necessarily have the power.

What is the team dynamic like for tennis since it is a very individualized sport?
The team dynamic is actually really good. Everyone is really competitive, and we kind of thrive off of each other’s competitiveness. We have to play each other in challenges, and everyone is really intense during them but friendly after. Everyone does a really good job of keeping it competitive on the court and friendly off the court.

Do you find chemistry is important when pairing up in doubles? How do you adjust to a new partner?
Well, I’ve been fortunate enough  I’ve  had the same partner my whole time here. There are always growing pains with new doubles teams like miscommunication on the court. I think it is just a matter of repetition. You figure out what the other person is good at, which balls you should take and which balls the other person should take.

If you had to play a sport other than tennis what would it be?

I have to go with the hammer throw in track and field. I think that I’m sort of a natural fit to play the hammer throw, to throw the hammer.

How has competing against top ranked teams in California helped prepare the team  for the rest of season?
Our trip to majestic California helped us prepare for the rest of the season both physically and mentally. Taking on top ranked teams from across the country should prepare us well in our upcoming matches against local schools.

Holden is a member of
the class of 2013.

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