Crimson Tide splits squad sending members to Illinois and North Carolina
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A handful of players from the Alabama men’s tennis team are traveling to compete in two invitational tournaments this weekend, which includes the Duke Fab Four Invite in Cary, N.C., as well as the Olympia Field Invitational in Chicago. Both competitions are all-day events beginning on Friday, Sept. 16 and running through Sunday, Sept. 18.
This year’s team returns five of its top six players from a season ago, while adding three freshmen to the lineup in Stuart Kenyon, Brian Conlon and Rens van der Vis.
“I think it's always exciting to start the fall season, get a look at the new guys while seeing where the upperclassmen are in terms of their level,” Alabama head coach Billy Pate said. “We have a good blend of experience and talent, and we're anxious to compete. One of our goals is to have a very productive and successful few months this fall as we lead up to the spring semester.”
Seniors Ricky Doverspike, Vikram Reddy and Michael Thompson along with junior Jarryd Botha will take part in the Duke Fab Four Invite. Five teams that ended last season in the top 25 are participating in the tournament including Southern Cal (1), Kentucky (8), Duke (12), North Carolina (18) and Louisville (24). Other teams participating in competition are Radford, William and Mary, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech and Elon.
In the first round of the event, Reddy faces No. 25 Luka Somen of Virginia Tech, No. 116 Botha challenges Corrado Tocci of Virginia Tech, Thompson matches up with Hess-Olesen of UNC while No. 108 Doverspike takes on Lucas Oliveira of Virginia Tech.
In doubles play, Alabama’s 20th-ranked duo of Doverspike and Botha face Robert Hall and Albert Wagner of Louisville, while Reddy and Thompson challenge the 15th-ranked pair of Fred Saba and Raphael Hemmeler of Duke.
Sophomores Daniil Proskura and Carlos Taborga along with freshmen van der Vis and Kenyon will attend the Olympia Fields Invitational. Four teams that ended last season in the top 25 are participating in the tournament including Kentucky (8), California (14), Texas (16) and Illinois (17). Notre Dame will also be attending the event.