Men's Tennis to Host Three This Week
April 4, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Tiger men's tennis team (10-9, 3-1 C-USA) will return to action after a week off to host three home matches this week. The No. 68 ranked Tigers will open the week against Southeastern Louisiana, Wednesday, at 2 p.m.
About Southeastern Louisana (13-6 overall)
Freshman Ondrej Krivka has played nine of the last 10 matches at No. 1 singles, carrying a 6-3 mark in the nine matches. He is also 1-0 in one match at No. 2 and is one of four Lions already in double-digit wins.
The Lions are coached by Jason Hayes, who is in his first season at Southeastern after guiding Texas Wesleyan to the NCAA Division II National Title in 1998. A graduate of Cumberland (Tenn.) University, Hayes has just one senior on his first Lion roster.
After starting the season at the No. 1 spot, junior Olivier Nussbaum moved to the No. 2 spot in nine of the last 10 matches, where he is 5-2 with two unfinished matches. Against Tulane's David Goulet, Nussbaum battled, but fell 6-4, 5-7, 5-7.
The bottom two thirds of the Lions' roster has significant depth, with junior Haris Huremovic having won six of his last seven matches before losing to Texas-Pan Am's Nik Porter, 6-7, 6-1, 8-10 at No. 3. Sophomore Julien Lausao is second on the team with 13 singles victories already this year, including seven straight from the No. 4 singles spot. Freshman Ilie Babinciuc also carries a seven match winning streak, along with an 11-4 singles mark that includes a 7-3 record at No. 5. Senior Paul Birkett anchors the Lion line-up, carrying an 8-3 record at No. 6, consistently giving the Lions points from the bottom of the singles line-up.
In doubles, the team of Lausao and Nussbaum have been virtually unstoppable, with an 11-1 mark, while the duo of Babinciuc and Huremovic are 9-2 at the No. 2 spot. The Lions als have a 9-2 team at No. 3, where Birkett and Krivka have played 11 matches.
The Lions are looking for their first win over a ranked opponent (they are 0-2 so far). Both matches against ranked teams were the first two of the year (back on Jan. 22 and Jan. 29th).
Murray State (3-11)
With a nine-member roster, Murray State head coach Mel Purcell is looking to get the program back into the win column. The last Racer win was a 7-0 win at Tennessee State back on March 17th. The Racers have since lost seven straight matches.
Junior Fadi Zamjaoui has played some of the matches at No. 1for Murray State, while freshman Yuri Pompeu and senior Chris Morgan have each played at the No. 2 spot. Pompeu and junior Jeff Lester have both spent time at the No. 3 slot, while Lester and senior Craig Jacobs have both played at No. 4. Freshman Hunter Gerlach has seen time at No. 5, while Jacobs and sophomore Clayton Clark are both eligible for playing time at the No. 6 spot.
Purcell is in his ninth season at Murray State, after spending the previous five seasons there as an assistant to his father, Bennie Purcell. He has some Memphis ties, as he played his freshman collegiate season at then-Memphis State, winning the Metro Conference singles and doubles crown as a freshman before transferring across the state, where he would capture two SEC crowns and be named an All-American. The Memphis match will be followed by two regular season Racer matches before the OVC Championships.
No. 25 Middle Tennessee (13-5)
The Blue Raiders are coming off a pair of road losses to ranked opponents, falling at No. 48 Louisiana-Lafayette, 4-3, and at No. 21 Tulane, 4-2. Sophomore Andreas Siljestrom has been the No. 1 singles player for Middle Tennessee in all but two matches this spring, with an 8-5 mark prior to last weekend's matches. Siljestrom was ranked No. 88 in the country in the March 22nd player rankings.
Redshirt sophomore Marco Born has also played two matches at No. 1 singles, but has spent a majority of his playing time at No. 2 singles, where he is 6-6, although against Tulane, sophomore Kai Schledorn played No. 2, falling to Ted Angelinos, 6-0, 6-1, while Born played No. 3, winning against David Goulet, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Senior Anant Sitaram played No. 4 singles in the latest Blue Raider match, where he was 6-3 prior to last weekend. Pollack played No. 5 in the last match, where he is 3-4 overall. He is also 4-0 at the No. 6 spot. Junior Brandon Allan has been the most steady contributor in the singles line-up, leading all players with a 9-1 mark at No. 6.
The Blue Raiders, as always, present a stiff challenge on the doubles side. The doubles team of Siljestrom and Born is the No. 19 ranked doubles team in the country, and is coming off an 8-6 win over the No. 38 team of Dmitriy Koch and Sottocorno of Tulane. The No. 2 duo of Schledorn and Allan is the No. 35 ranked team is 4-2 during the spring, with Born and Siljestrom carrying a 9-0 mark at No. 2 and a 6-0 record at No. 1. The team of Pollack and Sitaram rounds out the line-up with a 9-4 record at No. 3.
The Memphis/Middle Tennessee match will begin at noon, Sunday, at the University of Memphis HPER Courts located on the corner of Echles and Spottswood. Admission is free to all Tiger tennis matches.