The University of Tulsa men's tennis team will take its talents to Memphis, Tenn., to compete for its third straight league title at the Conference USA Men's Tennis Championships on April 18-21. The Golden Hurricane will play at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 19, against the tournament's No. 9 seed East Carolina, who defeated No. 8 UCF, 4-3 during the tournament's only first round contest on Thursday. The winner of the TU-ECU match will move on to the semifinals, which will take place at noon on Saturday, April 20. The Conference USA champion will be crowned after the finals on Sunday, April 21, which are set to begin at noon.
THE HUNT FOR A THIRD STRAIGHT TITLE
The Golden Hurricane has won six of the previous seven Conference USA Championships, including the past two tournaments. TU has a 20-1 record in C-USA Championship tilts.
FOLLOWING THE MATCH
Live scoring of all the TU matches during the 2013 Conference USA Men's Tennis Championship can be found on TulsaHurricane.com. In addition, fans can keep track of the matches on Twitter @TulsaMTennis.
The Golden Hurricane enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed after attaining the highest rank in the conference. TU enters the event ranked No. 23 in the country.
Tulsa is one of five teams from Conference USA that is ranked in the top 75 in the ITA Rankings. Memphis is ranked No. 35, Tulane No. 66, SMU No. 72, Old Dominion No. 73 and Rice is No. 74.
TU also has the two highest ranked singles player in the conference, with junior Japie De Klerk ranked No. 41 and redshirt junior Cliff Marsland ranked No. 48 in the nation.
The Hurricane has won six of the seven Conference USA Championships it has competed in, and has reached the finals all seven years.
TU is riding a five-match winning streak heading into the tournament.
ABOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
The four-day event, which will be hosted by Memphis, is set for April 18-21 and will be played at the Dunavant-Wellford Tennis Center on U of M's campus. Live scoring will be available on TulsaHurricane.com.
The University of Tulsa is one of 12 schools in the country to have both men's and women's tennis programs ranked in the top-25 in the ITA Team Rankings. The men's squad checked in at No. 23, while the women's team is No. 24.
LAST TIME OUT:
No. 62 Tulane (April 13, 2013)
The No. 21 Tulsa men's tennis squad concluded its regular season with a 7-0 sweep of No. 62 Tulane, Saturday, at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
The match marked the final home tilt for seniors Tristan Jackson and Grant Ive, who played critical roles in TU advancing to the NCAA Championship Round of 16 in 2011 and 2012.
Tulsa took the doubles point, as Ive and Jackson earned an 8-4 win over Rodrigo Rappaccioli and Alex Van Cott on Court 2. The Hurricane clinched the point on Court 1, as junior Clifford Marsland and sophomore Alejandro Espejo snared an 8-6 win over Dominik Koepfer and Idan Mark.
In singles play, Espejo quickly gave TU a 2-0 advantage after a 6-2, 6-2, win on Court 4 against Rappaccioli.
Freshman Carlos Bautista extended his singles winning streak to eight matches with a 6-2, 6-1, victory over Alex Van Cott.
Sealing the match for the Hurricane was Marsland, who dispatched Mark, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 2 singles. Marsland, ranked No. 47 in the ITA Rankings, is also on an eight-match winning streak.
The TU seniors went out winners at home in singles, as Ive defeated Joe Young 6-4, 2-6, 10-4 on Court 3 and Jackson beat Ian Van Cott, 4-6, 6-0, 10-6 on Court 6.
Junior Japie De Klerk, ranked No. 52 in the ITA Rankings, snared a 6-4, 6-4, triumph against Koepfer at No. 1 singles.
MARSLAND EARNS SPOT ON C-USA ALL-ACADEMIC SQUAD
Redshirt junior Clifford Marsland was named to the Conference USA Men's Tennis All-Academic Team for the third year in a row, the league announced today.
Marsland is one of two Golden Hurricane players ranked among the ITA's Top 125. He enters the C-USA Tennis Championship as the second-highest ranked singles player at No. 48 where he's 15-3 in duel matches. The Perth, Australia native is a two-time All-C-USA Singles first team honoree as well as a two-time ITA Scholar Athlete and C-USA Player of the Week selection. The three-time C-USA Honor Roll member owns a 3.51 GPA in exercise and sports science.
LAST TIME AGAINST ECU (APRIL 22, 2011):
The top-seeded University of Tulsa men's tennis team swept No. 8-seeded East Carolina 4-0, on April 22, 2011, to move into the semifinals of the 2011 Conference USA Men's Tennis Championship at the Case Tennis Center.
The No. 36-ranked Golden Hurricane battled the windy conditions well and quickly won the doubles point. TU took three singles matches in straight sets to halt play and wrap up the team victory over the Pirates (13-11).
The No. 26-ranked pair of junior Ashley Watling and sophomore Clifford Marsland defeated Jaroslav Horvath and Joran Vliegen 8-3 at the top of the lineup, and TU picked up the doubles point after sophomore Marcelo Arevalo and freshman Japie De Klerk topped Henrik Skalmerud and Stian Tvedt 8-5 at the second position.
The sophomore duo of Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson were up 6-5 over John Schmitt and Massimo Mannino at the bottom spot before doubles play was stopped.
During tournament play, once the doubles point is won than any matches that are still in progress are stopped in order to save time.
Tulsa took a 3-0 lead after Jackson and sophomore Alastair Barnes picked up swift victories at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively.
Barnes was the first off the court with a 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Mario Martinez, and Jackson defeated Tvedt 6-2, 6-4.
Despite missing out on three previous match points, No. 77-ranked Watling was able to clinch the team victory with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Mannino at the third position.
No. 29-ranked Arevalo was leading Horvath 6-3, 5-5. No. 71-ranked De Klerk was trailing Vliegen 6-4, 3-1, and Ive was ahead of Schmitt 6-1, 5-6