Privateer Men Challenge Southern Miss, Samford This Week
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of New Orleans men's tennis team will look to snap a two-match losing streak as they travel to Southern Miss on Tuesday at 2 p.m. before hosting Samford at the University Tennis Center on Friday at 2 p.m.
UNO (6-2) has lost two straight duals, dropping 6-1 decisions to No. 46 SMU and to Sun Belt Conference rival Louisiana-Lafayette over the last two weekends.
The Privateers are still ranked No. 75 nationally, though risk falling out of the rankings when they are released again on Thursday after the losses.
In the last three matches, doubles have put UNO in a hole. After dropping the doubles' point in the season opener, the Privateers had won the doubles' point in their next four matches before suffering setbacks over the last three.
On the season, the team is 16-8 in doubles with the tandem of Calvin Kemp and Guilherme Rebolo posting a 6-2 mark at No. 1 singles including wins in the team's losses to SMU and ULL.
Oliver Cuthill (6-1 in dual play) has produced the most consistent results for the squad this year, posting a 4-0 record at No. 6. Kemp and Vinay Kamineni are each 6-2 on the season with Kamineni posting the Privateers' lone victory in the loss against the Ragin' Cajuns on Sunday.
Ben Smith and Jose Gaspar at 5-2 apiece round out the UNO squad members with winning records. Gaspar's mark includes a 4-0 record at No. 5 singles while Smith is 4-1 when playing No. 4.
USM (3-2) have won their last two matches by a point, 4-3 victories over No. 72 UNLV and Florida A&M. The Golden Eagles get plenty of production out of their No. 6 guy in the lineup as Strate Krstevski has an unblemished mark through the team's five matches.
The top player in the lineup is Patricio Alvarado, who ranks No. 99 in the country and already has a win over Kemp this year. Alvarado, a native of Ecuador, defeated Kemp 6-2, 6-4 in September at the Ragin' Cajun Invite.
USM and UNO share a similar opponent as both teams have played Alcorn State. In the match against the Braves, both squads posted 7-0 victories including straight set victories throughout the lineup.
Samford is 0-5 entering this week's matches and are set to have a busy weekend. The Bulldogs will host Jacksonville State on Thursday before traveling to the UTC on Friday and Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday.
Last season, Samford advanced to the NCAA tournament after posting an 18-8 record overall record and an 11-1 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference en route to winning the league's automatic bid. The Bulldogs, who lost to Florida State in the opening round of the NCAA, had five seniors on the squad.
Carson Kadi has been the best player this year on the squad, posting a 2-2 mark on the season, which includes victories at No. 6 singles over Portland and Idaho. Brian Dushock has played No. 1 singles in each match this year, dropping four straight matches after defeating Oregon's Marco Verdasco in the team's first dual of the year.
Doubles has been a struggles for the Bulldogs, posting a 2-15 mark on the season with the lone wins coming when Carlos Abalos teamed with Oliver Reynolds for wins against Oregon at No. 3 and Idaho at No. 2.
After hosting Samford, the UNO men will stay home to host SLU on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 12 p.m. in a make-up of a rainout earlier in the month.