U of M's Season Comes to Close With 4-0 Loss to No. 32 Tulsa
April 17, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Memphis men's tennis team lost to No. 1 seed Tulsa, 4-0, on Friday in the first round of the C-USA Tennis Championships at the UCF Tennis Complex in Orlando, Fla., ending the 2009 season for the Tigers. The U of M finishes the season with a record of 13-11. Tulsa, who is currently ranked No. 32 in the national polls, is looking to repeat as the C-USA Men's Tennis Champion.
The Tigers put themselves in a place to contend for the match with their performance in the doubles competition. At No. 1 doubles, Tulsa's tandem of Alberto Sottocorno and James Seagraves, ranked No. 86 in the country, upended Spencer Heflin and Michael Hayes, 8-3. Hayes and Heflin wrap up the season with a record of two wins and three losses as a doubles tandem.
The U of M was able to even things up in doubles with a win from the No. 3 pair of Benedikt Fischer and Jordan Smith. The Memphis netters were able to defeat their Memphis opponents by a clip of 8-6. Fischer and Smith end the season with a record of 17 doubles wins and seven losses.
Tulsa took the doubles point with a close call at the No. 3 position. The Golden Hurricane tandem of Philip Stephens and Ashley Watling walked away victorious, 9-7, over the Tigers' Jorge Vazquez and Leon Nasemann. The Memphis duo finishes the season with a mark of 2-3.
In singles, the nation's No. 1 singles player, Arnau Brugues, led things off for the Tulsa Golden Hurricae, picking up a 6-2, 6-2, win over 103rd-ranked Jorge Vazquez. The win was Brugues' 22nd of the season and his 12th win over a ranked singles opponent. Brugues still remains unbeaten heading into the second round of the C-USA Championships. Vazquez finishes his senior season with a record of 12 wins and 10 losses. He was 3-5 this season against ranked singles opponents. The native of La Coruna, Spain, peaked at No. 51 in the singles rankings this season before falling to No. 103. Vazquez has been in the singles rankings from Jan. 6 until now. If he remains in the rankings at season's end, he will become the only Memphis netter to stay ranked for an entire season.
Tulsa went ahead 3-0 with a win at No. 2 singles. Tulsa's Stephens, ranked 86th in the country, defeated Fischer, 6-1, 6-3. Fischer wraps up his final season with the Tigers with a record of 10 wins and 13 losses. Fischer has been a stalwart for Memphis on and off the court for the last three seasons. He recently was named to his third-straight All-C-USA Academic team and became the only Tiger netter to ever be named a CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2008.
Tulsa clinched the match with a win at No. 5 singles. Marko Ballok picked up the deciding win for the Golden Hurricane, defeating Hayes, 6-4, 6-4. Hayes, a junior from London, England, finishes his inaugural season in the Blue and Gray with a record of 12 wins and four losses.
In other singles actions, Michael Gaerthoeffner, a sophomore from Rheine, Germany, was on pace to get a win for the Tigers at the No. 6 singles spot. Gaerthoeffner won his first set over Tulsa's Wojciech Starakiewicz, 6-4, and was up 5-4 on the Golden Hurricane before the match was called. The win would have marked the fifth-straight win for the Tiger netter.
Memphis' season-ending mark of 13-11 serves as the program's best record under current head coach Paul Goebel. The Tigers lose only two current players on the roster heading into next season. The Tigers will return eight netters who have all seen action this season.