Sophomore Brad Orban has emerged as one of the leaders on this year’s tennis team after a successful freshman campaign that saw him finish with an overall record of 13-7, 4-3 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play. “I felt like I had a really good experience with the team. I came in to add a lot to the program and I’m really excited for this season,” said Orban when asked about his experience from his freshman campaign.
Orban started playing tennis at the age of 10 after his father introduced him to the game. “I played a bunch of other sports but decided to stick to tennis,” Orban said. He also added that “I played baseball and football, but got hurt in both of them so I decided to stop playing.”
After four years at Foran High School in Milford, Connecticut where Orban recorded an impressive 97-3 overall record, he decided to take his talents to Fairfield. “I was looking at a lot of different schools but the coach of the school at the time was the one that really got me into the school. It’s a beautiful campus and I really fit in well here,” said Orban.
Coming into this season, Orban had high expectations from his team as they welcome new faces and look for leadership in their sole senior Ofir Solomon. When asked about his team’s expectation. Orban stated, “I knew we had a couple good freshmen coming up and a good senior Ofir, he’s a great player. I feel like we have a much better team this year, so I’m expecting much better things this year.”
The Stags started their season in early September when they took part of the Connecticut State Championship. Here Orban faced off against Marist’s Paulo Siracusa and picked up the victory with set scores of 6-2 and 6-0. The next stop for Fairfield was at the Army Invite in early October, where Orban suffered his first loss of the season to Army West Point’s Caison Best by scores of 6-4 and 6-4. The Stags would go on to win their first matchup of the season 6-1, when they hosted Rider on Oct. 6. They followed this up by winning their next matchup at Hartford by a score of 6-1. Orban was a huge contributor to Fairfield’s early wins as he defeated both opponents without any struggle.
Fairfield has struggled to continue its early success as it has lost its last four meeting pushing their current record at 2-4, 1-0 in conference play. “Our coach scheduled a really tough schedule for us to get us ready for conference play. These matches even if we’re losing 5-2 or 6-1, they’re still really competitive matches so the fact that we’re competing with these really good team will get us ready for post conference play,” said Orban on the team’s current losing streak.
Orban continues to be a bright spot for men’s tennis. On Feb. 17, Orban was named the MAAC Men’s Tennis Player of the Week after a picking up victories against Drexel in both singles and doubles. When asked about the honor he received, Orban shared that “it just shows the work that I’ve been putting in. I’ve been trying to put in a lot of extra work and I think it’s starting to show a little more this year than it did last year.”
With the MAAC Tournament just a few months away, the Stags look to get back on the right track with more than 10 matches remaining on the season. Orban and the rest of the men’s tennis team will take on the University of Connecticut on Friday, March 4 at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.