No. 21 ranked Men's Tennis Travels to Starkville, Miss. for ITA Kickoff Weekend
Jan. 24, 2014
By: Cecil Franklin
The University of men's tennis team travels to Starkville, Miss. for the ITA Kickoff Weekend for the second straight season. The Tigers have their eye on another shot at qualifying for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Indoor Championships, hosted at Texas A&M, are scheduled for Feb. 14-17.
In all, 120 teams will compete across the country for the 30 berths at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
The No. 3 seeded Tigers will face South Carolina at 10 a.m. in the opening round of the tournament. The Gamecocks are returning a strong team ranked No. 18 overall, its highest ranking since 2006. South Carolina is 2-0 in matches thus far, with wins over Furman (7-0) and The Citadel (7-0). Tsvetan Mihov leads the Gamecocks as the No. 41 ranked singles player in the country. Other ranked singles players include No. 91 Andrew Schafer and No. 103 Kyle Koch. Koch joins Chip Cox as the No. 24 ranked doubles team headed into this weekend's tournament.
The winner of that match will face the winner of the Mississippi State/Harvard match. The Bulldogs enter this weekend's tournament as the No. 13 overall ranked team, its third straight season in the top 15. Mississippi State supports a young team, five newcomers, with senior Malte Stroop leading the team ranked No. 39 overall. Stroop joins Jordan Angus, as the No. 52 ranked doubles team. The Bulldogs are 2-0 on the spring season with wins over Jackson State (7-0) and Alabama State (7-0).
Harvard, entering the weekend ranked No. 27 overall, has yet to play any matches in 2014. Denis Nguyen leads the Crimson, ranked No. 44 overall in singles. Nguyen and Casey MacMaster lead Harvard as the No. 17 overall ranked doubles team. Sebastian Beltrame, ranked No. 81, is coming off All-Tournament accolades at the Tribe Invitational this past November. Brian Yeung and Nicky Hu received All-Tournament doubles honors at the Tribe Invitational and are ranked No. 48 overall.
The No. 21 ranked Tigers are coming off a strong performance at the MLK Invitational. In singles, No. 49 Connor Glennon, No. 56 Joe Salisbury and No. 87Johnny Grimal all went 2-1 at the Georgia Tech tournament. Glennon picked up a win over Ole Miss' No. 104 ranked William Kallberg (6-5, 6-1) during the final day of the MLK Invitational. Salisbury went 1-1 versus ranked opponents, downing Georgia’s Ben Wagland, 5-6, 6-3, 6-4, and falling to No. 15 Nik Scholtz of Ole Miss, 6-0, 5-6, 6-2. The doubles teams of Ian Chadwell/Johnny Grimal and Connor Glennon/Cedric De Zutter both enter this weekend's tournament with 3-0 records.
Memphis will play its first home opener of the spring season with a double-header against Chattanooga and Murray State January 31st at the Racquet Club of Memphis. Game times are 2 p.m. (CT) and 7 p.m. (CT).