June 19, 2014
BEAUMONT – After experiencing its best season in over a quarter-century, the Lamar men’s tennis program looked toward a familiar territory as head coach Scott Shankles announced the addition of Spaniard Joan Bonavila on Thursday.
Bonavila is a native of Terrassa, a small town just outside of Barcelona, and he will be the third Cardinal to be plucked from Spain in recent years, joining former All-Southland honorees Carlos Valdenebro and Rob Lee, the latter of which currently serves as an LU assistant coach.
“I’m very excited to have Joan coming in,” Shankles said. “He’s a passionate player, an excellent student and a very hard worker. I think he will transition well in college tennis. He’s had a very good junior career in Spain, and he’s coming in with a lot of playing experience at a high level.”
Bonavila is a former youth champion in Spain, and he carries an overall ranking of 212 in the country. Among his age group, he checks in at No. 56, and he’s participated in a number of futures tournaments.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to go to Lamar,” Bonavila said. “I’m going to fight to win every competition that we have, and I want to try to help the team win a conference championship.”
LU finished the spring with one of the biggest turnarounds in school history, winning 14 matches, the most since 1987, and ending as the runner-up at the Southland Tournament.