Men's Tennis to Open Spring Dual Schedule at Home Friday
Jan. 25, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis men's tennis team will open its 2006 dual season, Friday, against Samford, at noon at the Racquet Club.
"Samford is one of the top teams in the Ohio Valley Conference, so this will be a good match for us," Tiger Head Coach Paul Goebel said. "We're excited to start at home and to play at a great facility like The Racquet Club. We've been having great practices and it'll be interesting to see how we transfer that into a match situation."
The Tigers have three new additions to the line-up compared to the fall, but only two of them are new to Tiger fans. Sam Withell returns to the Tigers after spending the past year in his native Australia. Withell, who battled back injuries the latter half of his freshman season, finished the 2003-04 season with a 7-7 mark in singles, including a 7-6 mark at No. 5, and a 5-3 record in doubles.
"All three of the new guys have fit in well with our returners and have done a great job of transitioning to the college schedule," Goebel said. "Having Sam back is great because he brings some talent back to our doubles line-up as well as a great all-court, aggressive singles style of play that will make him competitive for us right away."
Joining Withell are a pair of freshmen. Tezar Putra joins Memphis from Takarta, Indonesia, while Vinicius Craveiro comes to Memphis from Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
"Vinny and Tazar are both hitting the ball well," Goebel said. "Both have great baseline games that will help out our team. Vinny is trying to make the transition from playing primarily on clay to the hardcourts, but they both are working hard and doing well."
Craveiro was a top eight player in singles in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and won three state championships in doubles.
The newcomers may line-up for the first match, Friday, against Samford. The Last spring, the Bulldogs were 14-6 overall and were 8-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference regular season before falling to Jacksonville State at the OVC tournament, 4-3. Samford's coach, Kemper Baker, was named the OVC Coach of the Year, and now-sophomore Renan Silveira was named the league's Freshman of the Year. Silveira and two of his returning teammates, Stuart Misner and Bradley Weaver, were first-team All-OVC honorees last season and combine with a line-up that will give Memphis a stiff first test to start the season.
Memphis will play an exhibition game on Saturday against cross-town foe Rhodes College, beginning at 5 p.m. at The Racquet Club. Following that match, the Tigers will hit the road for six straight road games, five of them against teams ranked in the top 50 of the ITA/FILA team rankings, including No. 24 Oklahoma State, No. 42 Oklahoma, No. 46 Tulsa, No. 17 Tennessee and No. 38 Vanderbilt.