Men's Tennis Back on the Road for Two More Ranked Opponents
Feb. 1, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Tiger men's tennis team (1-2 overall) will venture west for a trio of non-conference matches, beginning against Oral Roberts, Friday.
The Golden Eagles are four-time Mid-Continent Conference champs and are picked to repeat that honor again this year. Made up of players from Australia, Germany, South Africa and Pakistan, plus one American, Oral Roberts is off to a 2-2 start on the season, having lost the last two matches to perennially-ranked UALR, 6-1, and No. 61 Tulsa, 6-0.
Sophomore Tyrone Hill has played at the No. 1 singles spots for three of the Golden Eagles' four matches, with junior Wessel Kemp playing at No. 1 against Creighton in a 7-0 ORU victory. Kemp and senior Adam Ehrlich played two matches at No. 1 doubles, splitting two matches, then moving to No. 2 doubles while Hill and freshman Clemons Geercken played No. 1 in ORU's last two matches.
The Tigers' second match will come against No. 26 Oklahoma State, just one week after Memphis faced No. 20 Vanderbilt (now No. 19) and No. 25 Tennessee (now No. 22), also on the road.
Three Oklahoma State singles players are among the nation's ranked singles players. Senior Mark Van Elden is the No. 44 ranked singles player in the country and is coming off a 6-4, 6-1 win over No. 57 Roger Matalonga from Arizona in OSU's 5-2 victory over the No. 26 Wildcats. Junior Tomas Bohunicky is the nation's No. 115th ranked singles player and is coming off a difficult 6-3, 7-6 (10-8) loss. Senior Boris Kuharic rounds out the ranked Cowboys, at No. 117. Kuharic is 3-0 at No. 3 singles.
OSU also has a ranked doubles team which, interestingly enough, plays at the No. 2 spot. The duo of Kuharic and junior Juan Felipe Diaz are the 40th ranked doubles duo in the country, and are 3-0 on the season. The team of Van Elden and sophomore Daniel Byrnes have played the No. 1 doubles slot for the first three Cowboy matches.
Memphis will wrap up the road weekend at No. 46 Tulsa, a future C-USA opponent. The Golden Hurricane are coming off their first loss of the season to No. 26 Arizona, 4-3, and are now 7-1 on the season. Playing in the premier college tennis facility in the country, which hosted the NCAA Championships in 2004, Tulsa is led in doubles by the No. 41 ranked team of Achim Roth and Aleksander Charpantidis.
Senior Achim Roth is looking to get back on a winning streak after going 1-3 at No. 1 singles over his last four matches, including a 6-3, 6-4 loss to No. 58 Roger Matalonga of Arizona in Tulsa's last match.
Junior Aleksander Charpantidis has won four of his last five matches, with the lone loss being the loss in the Arizona match. Charpantidis and Roth have teamed together to hold the No. 1 doubles slot, while the duo of Diego Camacho and Andy Connelly have played at the No. 2 doubles spot in the last three matches after playing some matches at No. 3 earlier in the year, as junior Lucques Maasdorp (a Mississippi State transfer) and Will Gray dropped to the No. 3 spot to round out the line-up. Gray had a busy off-season, winning the Copper Bowl Junior Tennis Championships Boys 18 title in Tucson, Ariz., during the semester break.
Memphis heads into the weekend having faced two top-25 teams on the road last weekend, and suffering a pair of set-backs, 6-1 to No. 20 Vanderbilt and 5-2 to No. 25 Tennessee. Junior Alex Jago and seniors Mark Finnegan and Alex Bucewicz each picked up singles wins over the weekend and hope to use that momentum in the tough three-day weekend that begins at Oral Roberts at 7 p.m., Thursday.