BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The Union men's tennis team recently added five student-athletes to the 2013-14 roster, head coach Bob Duricko said recentl.
Joining the Bulldogs are Luis Molina, Eric Mikhlin, Josh Souane, Mic Moore and Jorge Jackson.
Born in the Canary Islands, Molina grew up in Spain and has been playing six years. He played for the Tafira Club for a while and was its number two singles player. He then played for the Cortijo Club as served the number one player.
"Luis is a great competitor and is a very talented tennis player who will do great in the years to come," said Duricko.
Mikhlin is a sophomore transfer from Cumberlands (Ky.). Although his family is originally from Russia, he hails from Edgewater, N.J. Mikhlin trained at some of the best academies in Florida while he was a junior and played in a number of ITF tournaments. He is also the Charles W. Flanagan District champion.
"It is great to have a player like Eric join us since he already has one year of college tennis experience," said Duricko. "He has a lot of energy."
Souane is a freshman from Sedhiou, Senegal, but he graduated high school at Oneida Baptist Institute. A very talented and athletic young man, he has excelled in tennis over the years, representing OBI at the region and state tournaments last year.
"Josh is a great representative of the sport with his athleticism and his all-around etiquette both on and off the court," said the Bulldog coach. "It is great having such a pleasant young man as part of the tennis program, and I look forward to working with him this year."
A native of Barbourville, Moore is a Knox Central High graduate and still new to the sport of tennis. Though still learning the sport, he has already won three Mountain Tennis Circuit championships in doubles this summer.
"It is great to have some local talent come out and be a part of our program here at Union," said Duricko. "Mic has only been playing tennis for a few months but has already showed so much progress. He should continue to grow into a fine player over the next few years."
Jackson, who is from Paris, Ky., and graduated from Paris High, competed in the Bluegrass State Games this summer and placed second in both singles and doubles. In addition to playing tennis, he will also be a member of the Union bowling team.
"We are very excited to have such a young, talented, man join our tennis and bowling programs," said Duricko. "We look forward to working with him over the next few years as he has the attributes of becoming a very well-rounded tennis player."
Tennis is making its return at Union following a two-year hiatus. The tennis programs were suspended following the 2011 season. Prior to the recent hiatus, the men's tennis program had won five AAC regular-season championships, four AAC tournament championships, two region titles and made five trips to the NAIA National Championship Tournament.
The Bulldogs will again compete in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.