Men's Tennis to Open Spring Schedule Friday
Jan. 16, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - The University of Memphis men's tennis team will open its spring dual season with a trio of matches as part of the University of South Florida Invitational beginning on Friday. Memphis will face host USF, at 2 p.m. (ET), Friday, then will square off against William & Mary, at 10 a.m. (ET), Saturday. The Tigers will wrap up the invitational with a 10 a.m., Sunday, match against No. 40 Auburn. The opening tournament is part of a five-match road trip to start the Tigers' season.
"This opening tournament will be a great way for our players to get used to the dual-match environment and compete against top national teams," head coach Paul Goebel said. "We will face three programs with high quality tennis traditions."
USF brings a really young line-up to Friday's match, with six freshmen and two juniors, but one Tiger is already a little familiar with part of the USF roster as Memphis freshman Cody Loup faced USF's Henning Hipp at the ITA Southeast Regional, falling 6-3, 6-2. Whether the two will meet up again in a tournament that is structured as a dual match will not be determined until game-day when both team's will begin trying to figure out their line-ups in both singles and doubles.
"We're healthy right now," Goebel said. "The guys worked hard over the break and dedicated themselves both in conditioning and on the court. We're not going to have to work our way in to playing shape because we're in good shape right away from the start of the season. We're using this weekend as preparation for the rest of the season. With a young team, it'll be great to get some experience against some top national competition and to see how our line-up shakes out."
In the second match on Saturday, Memphis will face a William & Mary squad that has some more collegiate experience. The Tribe has just one senior, Colin O'Brien, but he and doubles teammate Alexandru Cojanu are currently ranked No. 30 in the country in doubles in the latest FILA/ITA Rankings released last Tuesday. Cojanu was also ranked in the singles rankings, carrying a rank of No. 49 in the country in to Saturday's match. The Florida native was 7-3 in the fall, picking up a pair of wins over ranked opponents, and will likely play atop the Tribe singles lineup this weekend.
The tournament will end with Memphis facing No. 40 Auburn, beginning at 10 a.m. (ET), Sunday. Sophomore Milan Krnjetin and junior Terence Nugent advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA Region 3 Indoor championships in the fall.
Memphis will complete the five-game road swing with a match at Tennessee, Jan. 26th at 2 p.m. (ET), and at Vanderbilt, Jan. 28th, at 1 p.m. (CT).