Semifinal-Win Over Rice Puts Memphis in C-USA Championship Finals
April 22, 2012
Joe Salisbury claimed the decisive point in Memphis' 2012 Conference USA Men's Tennis Championship semifinal match with Rice, helping the Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Owls. The win for the U of M avenges a 2-5 loss at Rice earlier this season.
Freshman and 114th-ranked-singles-player David O'Leary jumped on Rice's Peter Frank, 6-1, in the first set. O'Leary's momentum continued into a 6-0 second-set victory to give Memphis its first point of the day. The win gave the Coventry, England, native his 21st-straight win to remain undefeated this season.
Fellow freshman Connor Glennon took the first set, 6-3, against Jonathan Chang and went on to win the second set, 6-1. Glennon's win gave Memphis its second point of the match.
Captain Leon Nasemann grabbed the opening set, 6-4. Philipp Seifert fought back to force the second set into a tie-break, but Nasemann claimed the tie-break (10-8) and put Memphis ahead, 3-0, with three matches still on court.
Rice notched their only point on the scoreboard with a win at No. 1 singles. David O'Hare forced Sam Garforth-Bles to a first set tie-break, before falling, 7-5. Garforth-Bles picked up the point with a 7-5 win in the second set, but Memphis led the match, 3-1.
Salisbury won the first set, 6-4, over Michael Nuesslein. Nuesslein jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the second set, but Salisbury fought to force a tie-break. The native of London, England finished the match by claiming the tie-break, 7-5.
Johnny Grimal found himself trailing, 5-4, in the first set to Christian Saravia, but rebounded to win the final three games to take the first set, 7-5. Grimal trailed 6-5 in the second set, which was unfinished after Memphis clinched the victory.
The U of M improved to 19-4 on the season and awaits Tulsa in the Monday-morning championship match. Match time is slated for 10 a.m. (ET).
#2 Memphis 4, #3 Rice 1