Men's Tennis Advances to Conference Finals
April 19, 2014
MEMPHIS - -
The No. 21 University of Memphis men's tennis team (14-4) advanced to the American Athletic Conference championship finals with a 4-0 win over SMU (11-13) in the second semifinal, Saturday, at The Racquet Club of Memphis.
"It was a great team effort today," Goebel said. "Winning the doubles point was huge and gave us momentum for the match. I'm really proud of how Cedric and Connor closed that doubles match out. It really fired up the crowd and got them engaged in the match for singles. I'm really excited about the USF match tomorrow. It will be two top 25 teams playing for a conference championship, that's everything you can ask for our of a college tennis match."
Memphis had a rocky start to doubles as the number one team of David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury suffered their first loss in nine matches, falling 8-5. But the doubles team of Johnny Grimal and Ian Chadwell answered back with an 8-5 victory at number three to even the doubles score, putting all eyes on the doubles match at number two, where Connor Glennon and Cedric De Zutter were up 7-6, but needing a break of serve to avoid a tiebreak. After running down a ball that pulled Glennon off the court, De Zutter played a pair of points to keep the ball in play, allowing Glennon to recover to the court. De Zutter then ran down a drop volley at the net and put away a volley to seal the doubles point for the Tigers, 1-0, with the 8-6 victory.
Memphis then jumped up 2-0 as Glennon won his opening set over #115 ranked Arturs Kazijevs, 6-2. Glennon was up 3-0 when Kazijevs, who was hampered by an injury, retired from the match.
O'Hare recovered from the doubles loss and added a point to the team total with a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 6 singles. Memphis was a set up at two, three and four singles, but it was Chadwell who broke through first for the match-deciding win. Chadwell broke for a 5-4 lead in the second set, then served out the match, 6-4, for the Tigers' 14th victory of the year.
With the win, Memphis advances to the championship match of a conference final for the third consecutive year. The Tigers are 1-1 in conference championship final matches and are trying to win the first American Athletic Conference championship title in history.
The championship match will begin with doubles play at noon, followed by six singles matches. The winner of the inaugural American Athletic Conference championship receives the league's automatic bid in to the NCAA tournament.
The NCAA Selection show airs April 29th, announcing first and second round sites and the four teams that will play at each respective site.
#21 Memphis 4, SMU 0