Vazquez Continues Winning Ways as Tigers Fall Short At No. 19 Alabama
March 2, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Jorge Vazquez upended Alabama's Mathieu Thibaudeau, the 81st-ranked singles player in the country, building on his early season success at the U of M. Vazquez, currently ranked as the 51st-best singles player nationally, has posted an 8-3 mark in his first season as a member of the Memphis men's tennis team. The native of La Coruna, Spain, has defeated three ranked foes on his way to the second highest ranking of any member of a Memphis men's tennis squad. Despite the performance by Vazquez, the Tiger's were unable to overcome No. 19 Alabama on Sunday at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Tigers fall to 6-4 on the year. The Crimson Tide improved their mark to 9-1.
Along with Vazquez, Leon Nasemann and Michael Gaerthoeffner were among the other Tigers who helped put pressure on the Crimson Tide singles line-up on Sunday afternoon. Gaerthoeffner played Trey Walston to a first set tiebreaker, but ultimately lost to the Alabama netter, 7-0. In the second set, Walston came away with the win, 6-4. Walston was 3-1 entering Sunday's match.
Nasemann and Billy Mertz of Alabama also tied in the first set, 6-6, forcing a tiebreaker. Mertz won the tiebreaker, 7-5. The Alabama No. 2 singles player came away with the victory with a 6-4 result in the second set.
"We fought hard and played them close in a tough indoor environment," said Memphis head coach Paul Goebel. "Jorge (Vazquez) had another big win and several other guys are playing some of their best tennis. We still have room to improve in doubles as we prepare for another top SEC opponent in Ole Miss."
The day started out with Alabama taking the doubles point by sweeping the three matches. At No. 1 doubles, the 14th-ranked pair of Syketh Myneni and Mertz came away victorious against Vazquez and Spencer Heflin, 8-3. Myneni and Mertz are 9-2 on the year with victories over three tandems for opponents ranked in the Top-20. Vazquez and Heflin move to 6-5 on the year.
At No. 2 doubles, Benedikt Fischer and Jordan Smith lost, 8-3, to Ricky Doverspike and Andrew Felsenthal. Fischer and Smith have recorded seven doubles victories so far this season. Felsenthal and Doverspike are 4-5 on the year. Felsenthal is originally from Memphis, Tenn., where he graduated from White Station High School.
At the No. 3 slot, Thibaudeau and John Lewis upended Charlie Ramsay and Nasemann, 8-4. Ramsay and Nasemann have produced a 2-3 record during the 2009 spring dual season.
In singles, Michael Thompson defeated Ramsay, 6-4, 6-3. Ramsay, a junior from Chattanooga, Tenn., is now 4-7 in singles this year. His opponent Thompson is 10-3 in his first season for the Crimson Tide. Earlier this season, he upended 123rd-ranked Phillip Fuelkell of Furman, 7-5, 6-3.
At No. 4 singles, Doverspike defeated Smith, 6-2, 6-2. Smith, a Memphis-native, is 2-3 in his second season with the Tigers.
At No. 5 singles, Fischer fell to Michael Jung, 6-2, 6-0. Fischer, a senior from Dusseldorf, Germany, is 5-7 for the U of M this season.
The Memphis men's tennis program will face-off with another SEC foe on Tuesday, when the do battle with the ninth-ranked Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Miss.