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Drake Opens MVC Title Defense At Creighton
Thursday, 03/28/2013
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Drake University Team Page

WHAT’S AHEAD
Drake opens defense of its 2012 Missouri Valley Conference regular season men’s tennis crown on Saturday (March 30) as the 23rd-ranked Bulldogs visit Creighton for a 1:00 p.m. tilt.  Drake carries a 10-match regular season and 14-match overall winning streak versus conference opponents into the contest against the Bluejays. 

IN OUR LAST ENCOUNTER
Drake 7, Creighton 0 (March 31, 2012)
DES MOINES, Iowa - Drake opened defense of the Bulldogs’ 2011 Missouri Valley Conference crown registering a 7-0 triumph over Creighton at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center on March 31, 2012.

Drake swept the doubles competition to secure the only point it needed in the affair.  The tandem of Anis Ghorbel (Sfax, Tunisia) and James McKie (Edinburgh, Scotland) netted the clinching tally at No. 1, 8-4.

In singles, McKie stretched the margin to 2-0 at the No. 2 position, 6-2, 6-1.  Jonathan Hadash followed adding a 6-3, 6-0 victory at No. 5 to extend the lead to 3-0 for the Bulldogs.

Earning the match-clinching point at No. 4 was Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia&Herzegovina), who dispatched Sean Mathison, 6-3, 6-4.

Rounding out Drake’s win total was Ghorbel, Jean Erasmus (Windhoek, Namibia) and Ben Mullis (Leicestershire, England) at the Nos. 1, 2 and 6 positions, respectively.

GOODMAN NAMED MVC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The Missouri Valley Conference has announced that Drake junior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) was selected as the MVC Men’s Tennis Player of the Week.  The honor marks the fifth weekly accolade for a Bulldog this season and the second in Goodman’s career.

Goodman sparked No. 20 Drake to a 4-1 ledger last week versus four teams that have owned national rankings this spring, on the strength of a team-best 8-2 combined singles/doubles record.

Goodman has won his last seven singles contests and is 9-1 is his last 10 overall.  He was a perfect 5-0 in singles matches this past week, including a 6-1, 6-2 win over No. 111 Lukas Vrnak of Memphis.  He also posted a come-from-behind 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 triumph past Alex Steinroeder from No. 23 Harvard.  The victory over Harvard was one of two for the Bulldogs in singles play.

His two doubles wins with Anis Ghorbel came against No. 44 Memphis and versus a South Florida squad that held a ranking earlier this season.

On the campaign, Goodman owns a team-best 54-12 combined singles/doubles record, including a team-high 31-4 singles mark. He is 15-2 in singles during the dual campaign.

A LOOK BACK
Drake registered a runner-up finish at the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic last week in San Diego, Calif., as the Bulldogs posted a 2-1 mark.

Drake 4, Denver 0 (March 21, 2013)
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - No. 20 Drake opened its stay at the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic last Thursday (March 21) with a 4-0 victory over Denver.

Each side registered a triumph in doubles before the No. 1 tandem of Jean Erasmus and sophomore Alen Salibasic garnered the deciding tally on the strength of an 8-6 victory.

Pushing the advantage to 2-0 in singles after a 6-4, 6-0 win at the No. 3 position was Robin Goodman.  Salibasic tacked on a 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 4 over Max Krammer before Erasmus corralled the match-clinching point at No. 5, 6-3, 6-1 against Fabio Biasion.

Drake 4, Memphis 1 (March 22, 2013)
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - On the strength of a 4-1 victory over No. 44 Memphis last Friday (March 22), Drake advanced to the championship match of the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic with its 17th-straight win.

The doubles point in the affair came down to the tiebreaker on the top court, where the Drake tandem of Jean Erasmus and Alen Salibasic fought off match point en route to securing a 9-8 (7) triumph over Cedric de Zutter and Connor Glennon.

The Bulldogs opened singles with a pair of triumphs at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions to extend their lead to 3-0.

James McKie struck first with a 6-2, 6-2 win over 105th-rated Joe Salisbury on the No. 2 court.

Robin Goodman stretched the margin to 3-0 in Drake’s favor after registering his team-leading 30th singles win of the season, at No. 3, 6-1, 6-2.

The Tigers got on the scorecard at the No. 4 slot before Anis Ghorbel sent the Bulldogs into the tournament’s title match after dispatching Glennon at No. 1, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Harvard 4, Drake 2 (March 23, 2013)
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Drake ran into a challenge it was unable to overcome in the championship match of the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic last Saturday (March 23) as No. 23 Harvard snapped the Bulldogs’ 17-match winning streak on the strength of a 4-2 victory.

The Crimson garnered early momentum in the affair registering triumphs at the Nos. 1 and 3 doubles positions to earn the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead into singles play.

Ben Mullis evened the tilt at one, besting Kelvin Lam at the No. 6 singles slot, 6-1, 6-1.

Harvard tacked on wins at the Nos. 2 and 4 positions to assume a 3-2 lead, one it didn’t relinquish.

Robin Goodman recorded his team-leading 31st singles victory of the season to cut the deficit to 3-2, dispatching Alex Steinroeder in three sets, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

The Crimson collected the match-clinching tally at No. 5, where Nicky Hu edged Jean Erasmus in a three-set thriller, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).

BULLDOGS NO. 23 IN ITA RANKINGS
On the strength of three Bulldogs owning national singles rankings, Drake is rated No. 23 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll.

Coming off its fifth regular season MVC title in the last six campaigns and second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, Drake equaled a school record for victories with a 24-3 mark last season.  The Bulldogs return eight letterwinners from a squad that finished the spring campaign with a No. 47 national ranking.

Senior Anis Ghorbel, along with sophomore Alen Salibasic and senior James McKie, each maintained a national singles ranking when the latest ratings were released on March 27.  The trio is rated No. 47, No. 122 and No. 123, respectively.

Also garnering regional recognition in singles were Ghorbel, McKie, Alen Salibasic, Ben Mullis, Robin Goodman and freshman Ben Lott (Newcastle, England), who were tabbed second, seventh, 11th, 12th, 19th and 20th, respectively, in the ITA Central Region.  In doubles, Ghorbel and McKie were rated No. 2 in the region.

DRAKE ODDS-N-ENDS
•    Sophomore Grant Tesmer (Lincoln, Neb.) is a perfect 10-0 in his last 10 singles contests, while Robin Goodman, Ben Lott and Alen Salibasic own 9-1, 9-1 and 8-2 marks, respectively, over the same span.
•    With his win at No. 1 singles at Iowa (Feb. 27), James McKie registered his 100th career singles victory.
•    Jean Erasmus is nearing 100 singles triumphs as well, as he enters the week with a 93-28 career singles ledger.
•     Goodman, McKie and Salibasic have surpassed the combined 50-win plateau this season as the trio owns 54, 53 and 50 victories, respectively.
•    Led by a 13-2 singles record from Salibasic, every Bulldog owns a winning mark in singles during the dual campaign.
•    Every Drake player also sports a winning record in doubles this spring, led by a team-best 12-5 record courtesy of Goodman.
•    Goodman leads with 31 singles wins, while Salibasic and McKie have posted 29 and 28 victories, respectively.
•    McKie, Goodman, Ghorbel and Salibasic pace the Bulldogs with 25, 23, 21 and 21 doubles triumphs, respectively.
•    Goodman directs Drake with a 54-12 combined singles/doubles ledger.  He is followed by McKie (53-16), Salibasic (50-18), Anis Ghorbel (36-16), Erasmus (36-14), Ben Mullis (32-10), Lott (31-9), Tesmer (23-8) and senior Ryan Drake (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) (14-10).
•    No Drake player in singles has suffered double-digit setbacks, while only one has done so in doubles.

DRAKE HEAD COACH DAVIDSON KOZLOWSKI
Davidson Kozlowski, an assistant coach the last seven seasons at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is in his first season as head men’s tennis coach at Drake.

The Blazers concluded the 2011 season with a 17-9 overall record, their highest-victory total since posting 19 wins in 2000.  UAB rose to as high as No. 59 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) ranking before concluding the campaign at No. 75.

During his tenure in Birmingham, Kozlowski spearheaded recruiting, assisted with team travel and budget management and coordinated fundraising and community outreach.

Kozlowski, 36, came to UAB after spending three years as the Director of Tennis at Birchtree Swim and Racquet Club, a position he continued to hold until his appointment at Drake.

UP NEXT
Drake faces a key road test at Wichita State on April 7.  Match time versus the Shockers is slated for 10:00 a.m.


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