Men's Tennis Doubles Run Ends in Georgia
May 22, 2014
MEMPHIS - -
The University of Memphis men's tennis team saw its NCAA doubles run come to an end with a 6-3, 6-4 loss in the first round, Thursday.
The day started well for the doubles team of David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury. They opened with a hold of serve, then worked their way to a break for a 3-2 lead in the first set. But the Penn State duo of Russell Bader and Leonard Stakhovsky strung together four straight breaks of serve to take the first set, 6-3, and to go up 3-0 to start the second. A PSU hold of serve made it 4-0 in the second and it looked like the Tigers' stay was going to be short in the doubles draw.
But Memphis settled in and held for a 4-1 score. Penn State made it 5-1 with a hold of serve of their own and looked to close out the match, but Memphis got its first break of the set down 5-2 to pull to 5-3 down. The Tigers then held serve for a 5-4 deficit, putting pressure on the Nittany Lions. But with a set in hand, PSU closed out the victory, 6-4, to advance to the NCAA Round of 16. There, the PSU duo will face either No. 4 seeded Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka of Ohio State or South Carolina's team of Chip Cox and Tsvetan Mihov. Cox and Mihov were added to the draw Thursday afternoon when the Oklahoma team of Andrew Harris and Dane Webb withdrew from the draw.
The loss closes a chapter for O'Hare and Salisbury. Both players graduated from the University of Memphis over two weeks ago while the team was playing in the NCAA Regional at the University of Illinois. The duo will now leave the States and return home to Europe, where they will combine to play professional tennis. Salisbury will leave Memphis as the program's all-time doubles wins leader (with 97 wins), while O'Hare will be second all-time with 91 victories. They helped Memphis to its first-ever NCAA team appearance in 2011-12, then guided the team to three straight NCAA berths, including a Round of 16 run in 2013.
They are two of five seniors who completed their eligibility this year for Memphis. The Tigers are awaiting a word on a medical redshirt waiver for a sixth senior, Ian Chadwell, but will have a five-member incoming class this fall. That class of newcomers will be joined by rising senior Connor Glennon, who has been nationally-ranked all year in singles play and rising sophomore Louis Asser, who joined Memphis in January of 2014 and will be playing his first collegiate fall tennis in 2014.