Jan. 16, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - No. 52 Michigan State men's tennis hits the road for the first time in 2013 this weekend, as they travel down south for two weekend matches against No. 33 Memphis and No. 37 Vanderbilt. MSU faces off against the Tigers of Memphis on Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. before traveling to Nashville, Tenn., to face Vanderbilt on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 12 p.m.
A LOOK AT MEMPHIS
The Tigers opened their season last weekend in Tuscaloosa at the Crimson Tide Invite, where they faced No. 47 Alabama and No. 71 Eastern Tennessee State. Memphis picked up five singles victories against Alabama and two doubles wins, while sweeping Eastern Tennessee in singles play and earning an additional doubles win.
The Tigers currently have two singles players ranked, with junior Joe Salisbury coming in at No. 64 and junior Johnny Grimal entering in at No. 70. Sophomore David O'Leary was named the Most Outstanding Player on the White Squad at the conclusion of the weekend. O'Leary was a first-team Conference USA selection last season, and set a school record for consecutive singles victories during the dual season with 21.
The match against the Spartans will be the official dual season opener for Memphis.
SCOUTING THE COMMODORES
No. 37 Vanderbilt will open its 2013 season two days prior to the match against the Spartans, when they take on Butler at home on Jan. 18. Vanderbilt finished the 2011-12 season ranked No. 40, and has a strong nucleus of players returning. Redshirt junior Ryan Lipman will lead the way for the Commodores, who begins the season as the 17th ranked singles player nationally. Sophomore Gonzales Austin is not far behind, coming in at No. 20 nationally. Freshman Kris Yee rounds out the list of ranked players from Vanderbilt, who sits at No. 114.
PFISTER NAMED BIG TEN ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Junior Aaron Pfister was named Big Ten Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Jan. 15. Pfister went a perfect 3-0 in matches this past weekend and led MSU to a 4-3 win over Wright State and a 7-0 victory over Detroit. It marks Pfister's second weekly award of his career, he was last recognized on Nov. 2, 2011.
SPARTANS PREP FOR WEEK TWO
MSU opened its 2013 dual season last weekend with a doubleheader at the MSU Indoor Facility against Wright State and Detroit. The Spartans opened the day with a narrow victory over the Raiders of WSU 4-3, after losing the doubles point. Picking up their confidence for the afternoon match, MSU came out with an impressive 7-0 sweep of the Titans.
In singles play, juniors Aaron Pfister and Drew Lied led the way for the Spartans in singles play, as they both picked up two wins in the No. 1 and 2 positions, respectively. The duo also paired to earn a doubles match victory in the one position against Wright State.
Sophomore Gijs Linders also totaled three victories on the day, taking both his singles matches in the No. 3 position and earning a doubles victory at the No. 1 position against Detroit with fellow sophomore Harry Jadun.
In total, the Spartans picked up nine singles victories and four wins in doubles play on the weekend.
The Spartans will once again hit the road next weekend, as they travel to Lexington, Ky,. for the ITA Kickoff on Jan. 25 and 26. The Spartans are scheduled to face ninth-ranked Kentucky on Friday at 1 p.m., and either No. 23 Texas or No. 39 South Carolina on Saturday at 1 p.m.