PALATINE HILL -- Over the last two years, the Lewis & Clark Pioneers have achieved the best consecutive seasons in program history, a run that includes a 26-11 record and two straight appearances in the Northwest Conference tournament final.
First-year head coach Jimmy Chau, who has been on the coaching staff since 2005, will seek to continue that success with a roster that boasts a three-time All-NWC First-Team selection and enters the spring ranked 29th nationally. Chau returns many of his fellow coaches including Pannhara Mam, Marco Pineda, Adam Buchwald and Miguel Santiago. Former NCAA Division I student-athlete Connor Leahy has joined the staff this year as well.
The biggest challenge for the Pioneers will be the loss of the reigning Joe Huston Male Athletes of the Year, Lewis & Clark's highest men's award, Brenden Barrows and Gordon Barrows. The duo of brothers combined for a 21-11 singles and 14-8 doubles record in 2017-18. Gordon ended his career with the most singles and doubles wins in program history. The pair's 14 wins in doubles last season are also a program record.
Raed Attia will be the team's lone senior after earning three All-NWC First-Team selections in his first three seasons. Competing primarily as the team's No. 1 or 2 throughout his career, Attia is 21-33 collegiately including a 6-12 mark last season. In doubles, he posted a 13-5 overall record including a 7-0 mark during the regular season as a junior.
Lewis & Clark's roster is the deepest in the junior class. Brendan Adams won six straight singles matches as a sophomore and enters 2018-19 with a 10-3 mark for his career. Adams nearly upset the No. 10 seed at last fall's Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northwest Regional Championships. Ryan Hayes is 2-2 in his first two seasons and has twice been named an ITA Scholar-Athlete. Will McDermott advanced to the second round of the main consolation draw at the fall ITA and brings a 3-2 career singles record into the season. Hayes and McDermott paired for one doubles match last season.
As a freshman, Ramez Attia went 9-6 in singles. Now a sophomore, he'll likely be in the top of the lineup for the Pios after competing in positions 4-6 last year. Fellow sophomore Riley Vickers is 2-2 lifetime including winning his first fall ITA match last September. Vickers went 1-0 in NWC duals last year.
The Pioneers open up against Portland State on Saturday in Vancouver, Wash. before heading to Texas for three non-conference matches Feb. 8-10. They'll face No. 38 Southwestern, 17th-ranked Trinity and Schreiner.
Following a non-conference match against Willamette on Feb. 24, Lewis & Clark opens NWC-counting duals against Linfield on Mar. 2 in Portland. The Pios' homestand continues the following weekend with Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran.
The Pios will compete at Whitworth and Whitman on Mar. 16-17 before hosting Whitworth in a non-conference dual on Apr. 6. The regular season wraps up at home against George Fox (Apr. 7), at Willamette (Apr. 14) and at Pacific (Apr. 20).