Spartan Tennis Readies for ITA Kickoff Weekend
Jan. 23, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - No. 47 Michigan State hits the road for the second consecutive weekend, as they travel to Lexington, Ky., for the ITA Kickoff Weekend and a pair of matches against ranked foes. The four-team tournament will begin on Friday, Jan. 25 with the fourth-seeded Spartans set to take on No. 1 seed Kentucky.
"Great competition, but that's what we signed up for," head coach Gene Orlando said. "We believe we can play at this level, now we have the opportunity and we are going to make the most of it. We are going to go out and give our best effort and hope things go our way at the end of the match. Our goal is to get into the tournament, and it comes down to competing with these teams. There is a risk to be paid, but hopefully it is worth it in the end."
The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 9 in the ITA national team rankings. In the second round, MSU will face either No. 17 Texas or No. 40 South Carolina. The winner of the of the tournament will earn a spot at the ITA National Indoor Championships, which will be hosted at the University of Washington on Feb. 15-18 in Seattle, Wash.
A LOOK AT THE WILDCATS
Head coach Cedric Kauffman is in his first season at the head of the Wildcats, but is supported by an experienced and talented lineup. Three Wildcats are ranked nationally among singles players (Anthony Rossi, Tom Jornby and Juan Pablo Murra), and the doubles team of Jornby and Kevin Lai is ranked No. 35.
TEXAS AND SOUTH CAROLINA: AT A GLANCE
No. 17 Texas Longhorns have opened the dual season with a perfect 3-0 record, including an impressive past weekend that included wins over No. 17 Tulsa 4-3, and a 6-1 victory over No. 25 Washington. The Longhorns enter the weekend with three ranked singles players (Soren Hess-Olesen, Daniel Whitehead, and Nick Naurmann.) South Carolina currently sits at No. 40 with a perfect 4-0 record after hosting a pair of doubleheaders to open the season. South Carolina opened the season on Jan. 12 with victories over Charlotte and Presbyterian, and added two more wins the following weekend against Appalachian State and Furman.
ORLANDO APPROACHES 300
LAST TIME OUT
Freshman JP Mullane, junior Aaron Pfister, and senior Denis Bogatov all earned wins in both singles and double play against the Commodores. Lied and Pfister notched an 8-5 victory in the No. 1 slot over Ryan Lipman and Marc van der Merwe, while Bogatov and Mullane took down Rhys Johnson and Anton Kovrigin, 8-3 in the No. 3 position. Despite falling in the first set to 20th ranked Gonzales Austin in the No. 1 singles slot, Pfister came back to win the match 4-6, 6-3, 7-6. Mullane defeated Rhys Johnson in straight sets at the No. 4 position, and Bogatov earned a victory in the No. 5 slot.
PFISTER NAMED BIG TEN ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
NEXT TIME OUT
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