NEW ORLEANS - The University of New Orleans men's tennis team (3-0), ranked No. 75 in the nation for the second week in a row, will have a busy week of play with four matches over a five-day span, starting on Wednesday when they host Alcorn State at the University Tennis Center at 12 p.m.
After playing the Braves at home, the Privateers will get on plane Thursday for three matches in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in Texas. Starting with UT-Dallas on Friday, the UNO men will also see UT-Arlington on Saturday and No. 46 SMU on Sunday. All matches will take place at noon with the match against UTD occurring at SMU's facility.
THE 2009 PRIVATEERS:
This week will provide a test for the young UNO squad, which has not played a busy schedule like the one they will face this coming week.
Doubles is priority No. 1 for the Privateer men as they look to get the momentum on their side by taking the doubles' point. Through three matches, UNO is 7-2 in doubles' play. The team of Calvin Kemp
and Guilherme Rebolo
at No. 1 doubles and the unit of Jose Gaspar
and Ben Smith
at No. 2 doubles are both 2-1 on the season. Oliver Cuthill
and Vinay Kamineni
are 1-0 with UNO also winning two matches by walkover to round out their doubles' success.
In singles', the record is even more impressive as the squad is 17-1 during the dual season. The top two positions have seen Kemp at No. 1 singles and Kamineni in the No. 2 position post 3-0 marks. The Privateers as a unit are also unblemished at No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 singles with the lone loss on the season coming at No. 3 singles when Rebolo suffered a setback when the team played at then-No. 59 South Alabama.
No. 75 UNO (3-0) vs ALCORN STATE (0-1)
Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009 - 2 p.m.
THE 2009 BRAVES:
Alcorn went 7-11 a year ago, which included a 5-3 mark in SWAC play. The two out of conference victories for the Braves were wins over Centenary and Mississippi College. Leading the way for ASU a year ago was Pushpendr Rajpurohit, who went 10-8 overall and 6-2 in conference. Rajpurohit primarily played No. 4 singles where he was 5-5.
In doubles, Rajpurohit teamed with Michael Okada to form a strong partnership at No. 2 doubles. The duo went 10-6 overall and 7-0 in the SWAC, finishing the season on a five match-winning streak and victors of nine of their last 10 matches overall. The Braves season came to an end in a 4-3 loss at the conference championship to Grambling.
UNO is 1-0 against Alcorn State according to available records since 1996. Since 1996, UNO is undefeated against the SWAC, posting a 16-0 record against the conference. In addition to the 1-0 mark against Alcorn, the Privateers are 7-0 against Southern, 5-0 against Texas Southern, 2-0 vs Grambling and 1-0 against Prairie View A&M.
The lone win since 1996 against the Braves came on Mar. 24, 2001 as the Privateers picked up a 7-0 victory over their SWAC foe. The match was the first victory of what would end up being an eight-match win streak for a UNO squad that finished 21-6.
No. 75 UNO (3-0, entering the week) vs UT-DALLAS (1-0)
Friday, Feb. 6, 2009 - 12 p.m. (match to be played at SMU)
THE 2009 COMETS:
UT-Dallas (0-1) has just one outing to their credit this spring, a 7-0 loss to UT-Arlington. In the loss against UTA, the Comets all fell in straight sets in singles with the Mavs also sweeping the doubles.
UTD, a Div. III squad out of the American Southwest Conference feature Eric DeBusschere at No. 1 singles. Last season as a freshman, DeBusschere was named All-Conference in addition to picking up ASC East Division Freshman of the Year honors. The Olympia, Wash. native posted a 12-3 mark in singles' last year. Other members of the Comets roster to receive conference recognition a year ago are senior Nick Clifford and junior Donald Kasitinon. Clifford went 14-1 in singles while posting a 5-3 mark with DeBusschere in doubles. Kasitinon went 9-5 a year ago in singles.
No. 75 UNO (3-0, entering the week) at UT-ARLINGTON (1-2)
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009 - 12 p.m.
The 2009 MAVERICKS:
UT-Arlington is 1-2 on the season, defeating UT-Dallas in their dual season opener before falling to DePaul at home and Tulsa on the Road. The Mavs have been off since the match against Tulsa on Jan. 25 with a match against Radford called off due to weather.
9-13 a year ago, UTA reached the semifinals of the Southland Conference tournament, falling to UT-San Antonio. A young squad, the head coach Diego Benitez's roster features six underclassmen to go with a junior and a senior. The young players do bring plenty of talent to the court, as two freshmen - Gonzalo Bienzobas at No. 5 singles Hugo Taracido at No. 3 singles - were named to the All-SLC first and second-teams, respectively.
The most successful players this year have been Bienzobas, who has posted a 2-0 mark at No. 6 singles and Mindaugus Celedinas, who is 2-0 at No. 3 singles. Both have losses in the team's last outing after playing a spot higher in the rotation. Doubles' has been a strong suit for the Mavs, who are 8-1 in the dual season which includes unblemished marks at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles.
UNO and UTA are tied at one match apiece according to records available since 1996.
The Mavericks beat the Privateers 4-2 on Mar. 5, 2005 as UNO spent a weekend in Corpus Christi.
No. 75 UNO (3-0, entering the week) at No. 46 SMU (1-3, entering the week)
Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009 - 12 p.m.
THE 2009 MUSTANGS:
No. 46 SMU is 1-3 on the season with the lone victory coming against UNO's conference rival South Alabama at the National Indoor Championships in Los Angeles, Calif. last week. Both teams were were without their top player as SMU was short junior Robin Fahgen while USA was without Marek Sramek, as the Mustangs prevailed 4-3. While in California, SMU dropped a 4-3 match to No. 40 Fresno State. Their other losses were 5-2 to DePaul, who moved into the national rankings after defeating the Mustangs and a 4-3 setback to No. 7 Baylor.
Fahgen got off to a strong start, stopping No. 21 Denes Lukacs of Baylor 6-3, 6-4 in the season opener. Faghen also picked up a straight sets win over DePaul's No. 1 Austin Doerner 7-6, 6-5. Unfortunately for SMU head coach Carl Neufeld, Faghen was injured in the team's doubles' competition against Fresno on Friday night with his status unknown for this weekend. The Mustangs will face Lamar on Saturday, before facing UNO and represent the second ranked opponent for the Privateers this year.
COMING UP NEXT:
UNO will return home for two matches at the UTC as Southeastern La. and Louisiana-Lafayette come to town. The Lions will visit on Weds, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. with Louisiana-Lafayette following suit at 12 p.m. on Sat, Feb. 14.