Men's Tennis Advances Two Into Round of 16 at Milwaukee Tennis Classic
Jan. 8, 2003
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The University of Memphis men's tennis team returned to action in the Milwaukee Tennis Classic, with the duo of Ben Stapp and Lee Taylor Walker earning the top seed in doubles, while Walker was also seeded seventh in the singles draw.
The No. 1 Memphis doubles team of Stapp and Walker, who won the Southern Adult Open in Memphis, Dec. 31, are favorites to again capture a doubles crown by drawing the top seed at the tournament. The duo received a first round bye and will face the winner of the Green/Wilson (Ohio State) and Schaecterle/Smyczek (Wheaton College/Hales Corner) match at 4 p.m., Thursday.
Walker was also honored with the No. 7 seed in the singles draw, winning his opening match over West Virginia's Tony Epkey, 6-3, 6-0. Walker then defeated Minnesota's Eric Robertson, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, to advance to the round of 16, where he will face Florida State's Rodrigo Laub at 7 p.m., Wednesday.
Walker's doubles partner, Stapp, has also advanced to the Round of 16, with an opening round 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 win over Western Michigan's Mike Findling and a second round 6-3, 7-5 win over West Virginia's Jr Randall. Stapp will face Louisville's Harry Walsh at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday.
A pair of Tigers made their collegiate debut at the tournament, with freshmen Alex Jago and Brendan Malarkey both falling in their first round matches. Jago fell 6-4, 6-1 to Western Michigan's Tommy Dennis, while Malarkey dropped a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 decision to Ohio State's Brenton Contini. Jago returns to action in the consolation bracket, Wednesday after receiving a bye in the draw, while Malarkey recovered to post a 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3 win over Western Michigan's Dan Grupp to advance to the third round of the consolation draw. Malarkey will face Michigan's Vinny Gossain at 4 p.m., Wednesday, to see if he can advance to the consolation quarters. Both Australian natives joined the Tiger roster in January.
Memphis native Andrew Olswing also fell in his opening match. Marquette's Eigintas Vedrickas downed Olswing, 6-4, 6-2. Olswing also dropped his consolation round match, falling 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 to No. 4 seed Aaron Forsberg from Northern Illinois. Forsberg was upset in the first round to fall into the consolation bracket.
Olswing's teammate, Alex Bucewicz, dropped his three-set match, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, to Butler's Kevin Gill. In the consolation bracket, Bucewicz posted a 6-0, 6-1 win over Buffalo's Josh Liederman. Bucewicz will face Western Michigan's Jose Orozco in the consolation third round. Should Bucewicz and Malarkey both win their consolation matches, they would face each other in the consolation quarterfinals.
The Tigers have two other doubles teams scheduled to begin play, Wednesday. The duo of Malarkey and Olswing will face West Virginia's Ian Bliss and Jr Randall at 9 a.m., Wednesday, while Bucewicz and Jago will square off with No. 6 seed Conor Casey and Brenton Contini from Ohio State.
The Milwaukee Tennis Classic is in its 28th season and is an open event featuring the top collegiate players from across the country in a 64-player main draw for both men and women in addition to a 56-team draw in men's doubles and a 32-team draw in women's doubles. It is also the only collegiate tennis tournament in the country to feature a wheelchair division, which has over 35 schools participating this year.
The Tigers will begin their dual match schedule in January with a Jan. 31st match scheduled against UT-Chattanooga in Memphis. The Tigers will again kick off the season with an alumni match, Jan. 25, at 4:30 p.m. at The Racquet Club of Memphis. To participate in the alumni match, please call Phil Chamberlain at 678-2315.