Men's Tennis Advances to C-USA Championship
April 20, 2013
MEMPHIS - -
The University of Memphis men's tennis team (13-7) prevailed in a tough battle in doubles, then used wins from the bottom three spots in the singles lineup to defeat No. 74 Rice (11-14), 4-0, in the Conference USA men's tennis semifinals hosted by the Tigers at MUS, Saturday. With the win, Memphis advances to the C-USA championship match for a second straight season. The Tigers will be participating in a rematch of last year's championship game against Tulsa, Sunday, at noon.
The number three doubles team of Johnny Grimal and Lukas Vrnak got off to a quick start at No. 3 doubles, jumping out to a quick 8-1 victory. But the match got tighter from there. Both teams at No. 1 and 2 doubles exchanged leads and played long points. The Tigers' number two team of Cedric de Zutter and Connor Glennon battled back and were in a tiebreak at 8-8 (and up 4-2), when the No. 1 tandem of David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury picked up the 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles to seal the point in the Tigers' favor on Salisbury's birthday.
The bottom of the order took over from there for the Tigers. Junior David O'Hare picked up a quick 6-1 first set win at No. 6 singles and David O'Leary, playing in the court right next to O'Hare, followed shortly thereafter with a 6-2 first set win. O'Leary then put the second Tigers' point on the board with a 6-0 win in the second set at number five to make it 2-0 Tigers.
O'Hare, who missed an opportunity to pick up the win on Friday before the match was decided, made sure not to miss his chance on Saturday, as he and Grimal both closed out their matches almost simultaneously. O'Hare won his second set, 6-2, and Grimal, who posted a 6-3 first set win at No. 4 singles, closed out the match with a 6-4 win in the second set for the victory.
With the win, Memphis secures a berth in the championship game of the C-USA Men's Tennis Championship. The Tigers' will face Tulsa in the championship game on Sunday with the league's NCAA automatic bid to the NCAA tournament field on the line. That match-up is a rematch of last year's championship game, which was won by Tulsa, 4-0, as the Tigers' made their first-ever appearance in the C-USA finals. The match will begin at noon and will be played at the tennis center at MUS in Memphis. Admission is free.
No. 35 Memphis 4, No. 74 Rice 0