Jan. 17, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - After collecting two sweeps at home to begin the 2013 season, the University of Memphis women's tennis team (2-0) heads to Athens, Ga., this weekend to compete in the Georgia Invitational. No. 6 Georgia, No. 67 Kansas State and Troy will join the Lady Tigers in Athens for the tournament at UGA's Hopkins Indoor Courts.
"Coming to Georgia is always a lot of fun because they have such a rich tradition in their tennis programs," said head coach Lee Taylor Walker. "It was five years ago when I brought our team here for the first time, and I asked that group to dream and commit to taking the program to the highest level. Now, we are here five years later and this team is reaping the benefits of all the hard work the past players put in. We are here to win and start our own traditions at Memphis."
Memphis opened the season Tuesday with a 7-0 win over Lipscomb before taking down UT Martin, 7-0, Wednesday with all wins coming in straight sets. The tournament will be a round-robin format and will not count towards a team's record. The Lady Tigers will begin competition Friday at 9:30 a.m. (ET) with singles play against Troy. Memphis will end the day with doubles against Troy and Georgia, beginning at 3:30 p.m. (ET). On Saturday, Memphis takes the court at 11 a.m. (ET) in doubles against Kansas State before facing Georgia in singles at 1 p.m. (ET). The final day features Memphis against Kansas State in singles at 8 a.m. (ET) to conclude the tournament.
Georgia Invitational (All Times Eastern)
Friday, January 18
Singles: Memphis vs. Troy - 9:30 a.m.
Doubles: Memphis vs. Troy - 3:30 p.m.
Doubles: Memphis vs. Georgia - 5 p.m.
Saturday, January 19
Doubles: Memphis vs. Kansas State - 11 a.m.
Singles: Memphis vs. Georgia - 1 p.m.
Sunday, January 20
Singles: Memphis vs. Kansas State - 8 a.m.
|Scouting the Opponents
Georgia will hit the court for the first time this spring with four players ranked in the top-80 in singles. No. 8 Lauren Herring leads the way for UGA and is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year. The team also has two ranked doubles pairs with Herring and Kate Fuller at No.15 in the country and Lilly Kimbell and Maho Kowase at No. 22. Last season, the Bulldogs advanced to the Elite Eight before dropping a 4-2 decision to No. 3 Duke to end their season at 24-5.
Kansas State will also compete for the first time this spring with Petra Niedermayerova coming in as the highest-ranked player for KSU at No. 15. In doubles, Niedermayerova and Ivana Kubickova are ranked No. 30 while Niedermayerova and Karla Bonacic are No. 34. The Wildcats finished the 2011-12 season at 8-14, but faced 14 opponents that were ranked in the top-70 in the nation, including the Lady Tigers who defeated KSU 7-0.
Troy is not featured in the national rankings but Karoline Grymel is No. 9 in the Southern Region rankings in singles and doubles with Lyubov Dorofeeva. The Trojans fell to No. 38 Florida State, 6-1, in Tallahassee on Tuesday to begin their season. In 2011-12, Troy went 11-10 with losses to Georgia and Kansas State as well as two other ranked opponents.
Memphis will compete in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Jan. 26-27 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Lady Tigers will begin the weekend with an opening-round match against No. 10 Alabama on Saturday. Memphis will then either face No. 22 Clemson or No. 25 Tulsa the following day to wrap up the ITA event.
Memphis came in at No. 58 in Campbell's Jan. 3 ITA rankings. The Lady Tigers will have a chance to state their case early in the season with matches against No. 6 Georgia, No. 10 Alabama, No. 67 Kansas State and either No. 22 Clemson or No. 25 Tulsa. The duo of Courtney Collins and Kelly Gray entered the spring ranked a program-best No. 18 after a 4-0 fall season record while Stefanie Mikesz and Caroline Wegner ranked No. 35 after a 4-1 fall mark. Memphis was one of 15 schools in the country to have two or more doubles teams ranked in the top-60.
Collins and Gray already rank in the top-10 in career wins as Collins is fifth in singles wins and Gray is sixth in the doubles column. With her two wins earlier this week, Collins moved into fifth place all-time by surpassing Sabrina Lindemann. Collins has now posted 81 wins and needs 17 more to break Stacy Seamans' (1979-83) record of 97. Gray has notched 70 wins during her career and needs 23 more to break Lindemann's (1999-03) school record of 92 wins.