Men's Tennis Moves up to No. 34 in Latest ITA Rankings
March 26, 2013
MEMPHIS - -
Following a 2-1 week against three top 40 ranked opponents, including two true road wins, the University of Memphis men’s tennis team (7-5), moved up to No. 34 in the country in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings released, Tuesday.
Junior Johnny Grimal becomes the third different Tiger to be nationally-ranked in singles following a 3-0 week last week that included a win over No. 125 Alen Salisbasic of No. 20 ranked Drake on Friday. Grimal breaks back into the national rankings after being ranked following the fall rankings. He is ranked No. 110 in the country heading into this weekend’s Tigers’ tour of Texas.
Memphis, who has already faced eight nationally-ranked teams, picking up wins over four of them, will continue the difficult slate, playing at No. 22 Baylor, Thursday, at 6 p.m. The Tigers will remain in Texas following that match, and will play at No. 36 TCU, Saturday.
The match at Baylor will be a rematch for the Tigers of their meeting with the Bears in the first round of the NCAA Championships last year. Memphis won the doubles point to start that match and got a win in singles from David O’Leary, but fell 4-2 to the Bears, who advanced to the NCAA Third Round.
The two matches could be played in front of some of the biggest crowds in NCAA men’s tennis. TCU leads the country with an average of 577 fans a match, and Baylor is No. 2 in the country with 470 fans a night in the stands. TCU hosted Texas A&M in February in a match that had 1,425 fans in the stands.
The Tigers are coming off a third-place finish in the eight-team San Diego Tournament last weekend. Seven of the teams participating in that tournament were nationally-ranked, with No. 20 Drake, the Tigers’ semifinal opponent, the tournament’s highest-rated competitors. Drake finished second to No. 23 Harvard, falling 4-2 in the championship game. That loss snapped a 17-game winning streak for the Bulldogs.
Memphis men’s tennis will be on the road this weekend and next weekend in a triangular match at VCU where the Tigers will face host VCU and Louisville. The Tigers then return home for two matches, including a match-up with C-USA foe UAB, before hosting the C-USA Men’s Tennis Championships, April 18-21st at MUS.