Men's Tennis Season Preview
Jan. 12, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
A Program On The Rise
The Memphis men's tennis program is coming off its best season under current head coach Paul Goebel in 2008-09. The Tigers finished the season with a 14-11 mark. Memphis returns eight of 10 players from last season's squad including two three-year members of the squad in Charlie Ramsay (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Spencer Heflin (Germantown, Tenn.). Michael Hayes (London, England), a transfer from Brunel University, joins Heflin and Ramsay as the elder statesmen for the program.
Along with Hayes, Heflin and Ramsay, the Tiger roster currently boasts five juniors including newcomers John Taylor (Burlington, Ontario), a transfer from Utah, and Michael Janz (Lousanne, Switzerland). Taylor and Janz join Leon Nasemann (Wuppertahl, Germany), Michael Gaerthoeffner (Rheine, Germany) and Jordan Smith (Memphis, Tenn.) as juniors on the 2009-10 squad. Nasemann and Ramsay will most likely hold down the top two spots for the Tigers during the 2009-10 season. Nasemann competed at the No. 1 , No. 2 and No. 3 singles spots in 2009, compiling an overall record of 11-10 among the three positions. Nasemann was 6-5 at the No. 2 spot, where he spent the most time. Ramsay also finished last season with an 11-10 record. He competed at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots for Paul Goebel's Tigers last season.
The Tigers announced a deal that makes the state-of-the-art Racquet Club of Memphis the new home for both men's and women's tennis at the University of Memphis. The club located in East Memphis provides a world class tennis atmosphere where both programs have everything they need at their exposure including refurbished locker rooms, 11 indoor courts and six recently resurfaced hard courts. The Tigers will also be able to use the facility's salon area as a player lounge.
The Racquet Club of Memphis has been the Mid-South's premier tennis facility since it opened its doors in 1974. The Racquet Club has hosted the Regions Morgan Keegan Championship, an annual stop on the ATP Men's World Tour each February since 1976. In 2002, the Racquet Club of Memphis also become host to the Cellular South Cup, an ATP Women's World Tour evens, held during the same time as the men's event.
The Memphis Tennis netters found a lot of success during the fall season in 2009. At the Steve Baras Memorial Tournament, Jordan Smith and David Henry both captured their respective singles flight championships, while two other Memphis netters (Michael Hayes and Michael Gaerthoeffner) advanced to the finals of their singles flights.
The Tigers will look to build on their fall success as they prepare for a very tough schedule in the spring season. Memphis will open the dual season with a match against Tulsa and will follow-up with a dual with the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Memphis will use a tournament at South Florida to kick-start the spring before starting the dual season. Memphis will face-off with netters from South Florida, No. 56 Radford and Conference USA foe UCF in Tampa, Fla.
Success In The Classroom
In 2009, the Tigers continued to build on their success in the classroom. Benedikt Fischer, who became the program's first Academic All-American in 2008, repeated the honor in 2009, earning CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America second team honors. Fischer was named Academic All-District IV, as well as C-USA All-Academic in 2009. Along with Michael Gaerthoeffner and K.C. Griffin, Fischer was named an ITA Scholar-Athlete in 2009.
The Tigers will face-off with seven teams that were ranked in ITA's poll last season. Included in the schedule are C-USA powers SMU and Tulsa. Oklahoma State from the Big 12. Iowa from the Big Ten. Ole Miss and Mississippi State from the SEC and Middle Tennessee from the Sun Belt.
Paul Goebel returns to Memphis for his sixth season as the head men's tennis coach. Coach Goebel put up his best season as Memphis' head coach during the 2009-09 season, picking up 14 wins in his fifth season as the boss for the Tigers.
Leon Nasemann and Charlie Ramsay advanced to the semifinals of the 2009 ITA Ohio Valley Regional in Bloomington, Ind. The Memphis pair won three matches before being eliminated by Tennessee's Davey Sandgren and John-Patrick Smith, the nation's No. 1 rated tennis duo according to College Tennis Online.