Memphis Tennis Splits First Weekend; Defeat Prairie View A&M, Fall to No. 24 Rice
Jan. 17, 2009
HOUSTON, Texas - The University of Memphis tennis program opened the 2009 spring season on Friday in Houston, Texas, with matches against No. 24 Rice and Prairie View A&M. The Tigers split their two duals moving their record to 1-1 on the season. The U of M lost their first match to No. 24 Rice, 6-1. Paul Goebel's Tiger squad bounced back on Friday night with a 6-0 sweep over the Prairie View A&M Panthers. The day's matches were highlighted by 102nd-ranked Jorge Vazquez' victory over No. 26 Bruno Rosa of Rice, 6-4, 7-6. The victory marked Vazquez' second victory this week over a ranked opponent. Vazquez upended Illinois' 23rd-ranked singles player Roy Kalmanovich of Illinois last weekend at the USF Winter Invitational.
"Jorge (Vazquez) had the best week of any Memphis Tiger tennis player ever, in my opinion," said Memphis head coach Paul Goebel. "We haven't had many players in the history of the program who have been able to defeat two players ranked as highly as Rosa and Kalmanovich."
The Tigers had several key performances on Friday afternoon against the No. 24 Rice Owls to go along with Vazquez' showing against Rosa. At No. 2 singles, Leon Nasemann, a sophomore from Wuppertahl, Germany, took the first sets of the match defeating Christoph Muller, 6-4. Muller bounced back to win the next two sets, 6-0, 6-4. At No. 3 and No. 4 singles, Charlie Ramsay and Benedikt Fischer both put up a fight against their opponents, but both lost their respective first sets, 7-6. Ramsay and Fischer went on to lose their matches.
In doubles, Muller and Tobias Scheil of Rice upended Vazquez and Ramsay of the U of M, 8-2. At the No. 2 spot, Rosa and Chong Wang picked up the 8-5 win over Spencer Heflin and Nasemann. In the No. 3 doubles slot, Fischer and K.C. Griffin defeated Sam Garforth-Bles and Isamu Tachibana, 8-5.
On Friday against Prairie View A&M, the Tigers were able to sweep all of their matches catapulting them to a 6-0 victory over their opponents from the Southwest Athletic Conference. At No. 1 singles, Nasemann upended Kudakwashe Nyatoti, 6-2, 6-1. In the No. 2 spot, Jordan Smith picked up a 6-3, 6-4 win over PVAMU's Joshua Chavez, 6-3, 6-4. The match at No. 4 ended with a 7-5, 6-0, win for Memphis senior Benedikt Fischer of Dusseldorf, Germany. Michael Gaerthoeffner defeated Sylvester Mayfield, 6-0, 6-0. At the No. 6 spot, freshman K.C. Griffin upended Caz Tankersley, 6-0, 6-0.
In doubles, Vazquez and Ramsay teamed up to triumph over Chavez and Christopher Jordan, 8-2. At No. 2 doubles, Fischer and Smith defeated Jose Garcia and Nyatoti, 8-2.
"It was a very productive first weekend for our team," Goebel said. "The guys are playing as high of a level of tennis as they have ever played. We are looking forward to getting a couple of good weeks of practice in before we start our first home stand . Every one of the guys showed solid improvement from the fall season. This team feels very confident that they can compete with any team in the country."
Memphis will next hit the courts when they return to Memphis to host three teams on the weekend of Jan. 29. The Tigers will face Morehead State on Friday, Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday, Jan. 30, and Murray State on Sunday, Feb. 1.
Rice 6, Memphis 1
Memphis 6, Prairie View A&M, 0