Men's Tennis Receives C-USA Sportmanship Award
May 11, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis men's tennis team was one of two teams to receive the Conference USA Sportsmanship Award it was announced by the league office, Wednesday. The award is meant for student-athletes, coaches or teams that perform an individual act of sporting behavior or generally conduct themselves with a high degree of good sportsmanship. Fourteen individuals and two teams, Memphis and UAB, were awarded the honors following the C-USA Men's Tennis Championships in Louisville.
This marks the second sportsmanship honor in Memphis men's tennis history. In March of 2003, the Tigers received the ITA Team Sportsmanship Award after being nominated by the head coach from Indiana State.
This year's Tiger tennis team finished 12-11 overall and was the No. 4 seed for the C-USA Championships, where they fell to USF. Memphis is currently the No. 73 ranked men's tennis program in the country, while first-year head coach Paul Goebel has been asked by the NCAA to serve as an administrator at the NCAA First and Second Round at Ole Miss this weekend. Ten of the Tigers' 11 losses came to ranked opponents, with nine of those being on the road.
Memphis graduated three seniors in last Saturday's festivities (Alex Bucewicz, Scott Felsenthal, and Mark Finnegan), and fellow seniors Andrew Olswing and Marten Tamla will graduate next year after transferring into Memphis from other Division I programs.
Memphis will return Third Team All-Conference performer James Spence next season, along with fellow senior Alex Jago. Garrison Pilant will be Memphis' lone returning junior, while the sophomore class will consist of Bryan Bankester and possibly Sam Withell, who could return to the program after a year back in his native Australia dealing with a back injury. Withell was a one-year letterwinner with the Tigers before a back-injury benched him.
Current Tiger assistant coach Lee Taylor Walker and former Tiger Joe Schmulian join Spence as Memphis' individual recipients in Memphis history of the C-USA Sportsmanship Award. Schmulian recently participated in the Tunica Challenger, where he fell to No. 8 seed Robert Yim, 6-2, 6-2, in the qualifying draw. Former Tiger Ben Stapp also played in the Tunica Challenger, falling 6-3, 6-1 to No. 2 seed Jacob Adaktusson.