Tiger Tennis Prepares for Season-Opening Doubleheader at Wimbledon
Jan. 31, 2001
Memphis, Tenn. - - With a schedule that features eight nationally-ranked opponents and a team that has undergone intense practices, the Memphis men's tennis squad is ready to open its home season with a doubleheader at the Wimbledon Sportsplex, Saturday. The Tigers will face in-state rival UT-Martin at noon, and will square off with North Alabama at 6 p.m. Both matches will begin with play for the doubles point, followed by the singles matches.
The Tigers return seven letterwinners from 2000, including all but the No. 2 singles player from last season.
The No. 1 singles spot will likely belong to sophomore Joe Schmulian (Devon, South Africa/Hugenote High School). Schmulian, who is in his second semester at Memphis, won two of the three Intercollegiate Tennis Association Summer Circuit tournaments he entered (East Tennessee State and University of North Carolina), before advancing to the quarterfinals at the ITA Nationals. During the fall, Schmulian was 9-5 in singles and teamed with fellow newcomer Michael Chamberlain for a 10-4 record in doubles. Chamberlain and Schmulian could be the Tigers' No. 1 team for the 2001 season.
The Tigers also return three key seniors in their campaign to break into the top 75 teams in the nation. Seniors Chris Buckley (Oak Ridge, Tenn.), Jack Hu (Nashville, Tenn./Hillsboro) and Alistair Todd (Perth, Australia/Univ. of West Australia) have each played an integral role in the team's success in the first two years under Phil Chamberlain and they all had solid fall seasons.
Buckley capped his fall by winning the Flight B Consolation Championship at Tennessee. He also teamed with sophomore Jamie Adams (Coushatta, La./Lakeview) to win the B doubles championship at Middle Tennessee State earlier in the fall over the team of Foley and Mayer from C-USA foe Louisville.
Hu returns to the Tiger line-up and hopes to continue on a trend he started last year. After being moved around in the line-up due to injuries early in the spring, Hu was looking at a 3-10 singles record. He recovered from the rough start to win eight consecutive matches and finished with an 11-11 singles record after a loss at the conference tournament snapped his win-streak.
After a record of 20-8 at No. 1 singles last year when teamed with freshman Ben Stapp (Sydney, Australia/St. Ignatius College Riverview), Todd is back and was underway with an outstanding fall season when an abdominal injury slowed him down. Before being injured, Todd had advanced to the finals of the first tournament of the season.
The Tiger schedule has gotten increasingly more difficult under Head Coach Phil Chamberlain. Chamberlain has eight nationally-ranked teams on this year's schedule, including a Feb. 6 contest at No. 10 Mississippi and a Feb. 10 match at No. 27 Indiana State. Chamberlain, who was recently inducted into the Tennessee Tennis Hall of Fame, will have the deepest roster he has had since taking over his alma mater in 1998.
Memphis will have two weeks off following the Indiana State match while the ATP Kroger/St. Jude tournament is at The Racquet Club. The Tiger schedule resumes Feb. 27th at No. 48 Arkansas-Little Rock.