Men's Tennis Begins 12-Match Road Streak at No. 25 Mississippi State
Feb. 4, 2003
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis men's tennis team (1-0) opens a 12-match road streak at No. 25 Mississippi State, Wednesday (weather permitting). The Tigers, coming off a 5-2 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga in their spring season opener, are currently ranked No. 54 in the country and the match Wednesday will be the first against three consecutive nationally-ranked opponents for the Tigers.
"In putting a schedule together, we just kind of have to take some matches whenever we can get them," Head Coach Phil Chamberlain said.
Following the match at No. 25 Mississippi State, the Tigers will turn around and head to No. 36 Indiana State, a team that improved 16 spots in the national rankings with a 4-3 upset at No. 51 Middle Tennessee last weekend. In that match, Indiana State's No. 1 player upended the No. 3 ranked player in the country in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. The Tigers will face the Sycamores in Indiana State's home opener at 2 p.m. in Terre Haute.
Memphis will stay in the Hoosier State to face the Hoosiers, Saturday, at 2 p.m. Indiana, which was not ranked at the beginning of the season, upset No. 27 Notre Dame, 4-3, on the road, and swept No. 37 Middle Tennessee in their second match of the season to move themselves into the national rankings. The Hoosiers are currently ranked 40th in the country with a 4-0 record after a 7-0 blanking of North Carolina State. Indiana will face Louisville the day before they host the Tigers.
Memphis will wrap up the four-game portion of this part of the road trip with a Conference USA clash at Saint Louis, Sunday, at 1 p.m. The Billikens are currently 0-1 after dropping a 6-1 decision to fellow C-USA member TCU in their season opener.
The Tigers, who are starting to draw attention with the No. 12 ranked doubles team in the country, also have the luxury of having senior Joe Schmulian on the roster.
"Joe was hitting the ball really well before his (foot) injury," Chamberlain said. "If this was September 1st, he would be playing No. 1 for us, he was hitting that well."
Schmulian tore tendons in his foot, an injury dating back to last spring, in the fall season-opener at Middle Tennessee. "We are just being conservative with bringing him back," Chamberlain said.
Following the four-match portion of this road trip, the Tigers will have a 19-day break from competition while Chamberlain fulfills his duties as Assistant Tournament Director for the Kroger/St. Jude tennis tournament. That tournament brings both the men's and women's professional tennis tours to The Racquet Club of Memphis, one of the Tigers' indoor practice facilities during inclement weather. Memphis will resume its schedule on the road with a spring break trip to the Washington D.C. area to face William & Mary, Old Dominion, the University of Richmond, Virginia Tech and Cornell before returning home to host Troy State, Mar. 21st.