MEMPHIS, Ten. - The No. 23-ranked Tulsa men’s tennis squad dispatched East Carolina, 4-1, Friday, at the Dunavant-Wellford Tennis Center to advance to the semifinals of the 2013 Conference USA Men’s Tennis Championship.
The Golden Hurricane, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, will face No. 4-seed SMU, ranked No. 72 in this week’s ITA Rankings, on Saturday in a 12 p.m. tilt. Live scoring of the match can be found on TulsaHurricane.com. TU defeated SMU, 6-1, on March 10.
Tulsa has now won its past six matches, and eight of its past nine tilts.
“We played in some very tough conditions today, as temperatures were in the low 40’s at 10 a.m. with a strong wind,” commented Head Coach Vince Westbrook. “Even with the tough conditions, our guys stayed positive. East Carolina played hard, and we look forward to SMU tomorrow.”
“We lost the doubles point, but we were able to get two of our freshman, Matt (Kirby) and Lucas (Vaz) some experience in a tournament setting,” Westbrook added. “We had our chances in doubles, but we got off to a slow start. Once we got into singles with our full lineup, we started to hit our groove.”
Freshman Carlos Bautista and junior Japie De Klerk won their No. 2 doubles match against John Schmitt and Mario Martinez, 8-2, but TU fell in the other two doubles tilts to drop the point. At No. 1 singles, the TU senior tandem of Tristan Jackson and Grant Ive lost to No. 59-ranked Joran Vliegen and Colin Roller , 8-4. On Court 3, the freshman duo of Lucas Vaz and Matt Kirby, playing their first doubles match together, lost a 8-5 decision to Nicolas Soriano and Patriek Wolterbeek.
In singles competition, sophomore Alejandro Espejo put Tulsa on the board with a 6-1, 7-5, win against Damien Brenard at No. 1 singles.
Ive defeated John Schmitt, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 3 singles to propel the Hurricane to a 2-1 advantage.
On Court 1, No. 41-ranked De Klerk secured a 6-3, 6-3, triumph over No. 41-ranked Vliegen.
Clinching the match for TU was Bautista, who took down ECU’s Martinez, 6-2, 6-1 at No. 5 singles. The win marked the freshman’s ninth straight triumph in singles action.
Matches at No. 2 and No. 6 singles were halted due to the tournament format. On Court 2, No. 48-ranked Cliff Marsland was in the midst of a 6-1, 5-7 match against Soriano, while at No. 6 singles Jackson was down 3-6, 6-2, 2-1, to Roller.
East Carolina vs Tulsa
Apr 19, 2013 at Memphis, Tenn.
#23 Tulsa 4, East Carolina 1
1. #41 Japie De Klerk (TLS) def. #124 Joran Vliegen (ECU) 6-3, 6-3
2. #48 Clifford Marsland (TLS) vs. Nicolas Soriano (ECU) 6-1, 5-7, unfinished
3. Grant Ive (TLS) def. John Schmitt (ECU) 6-4, 6-1
4. Alejandro Espejo (TLS) def. Damien Brenard (ECU) 6-1, 7-5
5. Carlos Bautista (TLS) def. Mario Martinez (ECU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Tristan Jackson (TLS) vs. Colin Roller (ECU) 6-3, 2-6, 1-2, unfinished
1. #59 Joran Vliegen/Colin Roller (ECU) def. Tristan Jackson/Grant Ive (TLS) 8-4
2. Carlos Bautista/Japie De Klerk (TLS) def. John Schmitt/Mario Martinez (ECU) 8-2
3. Nicolas Soriano/Patriek Wolterbeek (ECU) def. Lucas Vaz/Matt Kirby (TLS) 8-5
East Carolina 16-6
Tulsa 14-6; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,3,1,5)
Tulsa advances to the first semifinal at the 2013 C-USA Men's Tennis
Championship Tournament; Semifinal will be played at noon, Saturday.
2013 C-USA MEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
DUNAVANT-WELLFORD TENNIS CENTER / MEMPHIS, TENN.
FIRST ROUND - Thursday, April 18
Match 1: (9) East Carolina 4, (8) UCF 3
QUARTERFINALS - Friday, April 19
Match 2: (1) Tulsa 4, (9) East Carolina 1
Match 3: (4) SMU 4, (5) Old Dominion 0
Match 4: (7) UAB vs. (2) Memphis - 2 p.m.
Match 5: (6) Rice vs. (3) Tulane - 2 p.m.
SEMIFINALS - Saturday, April 20
Match 6: (1) Tulsa vs. (4) SMU - 12 p.m.
Match 7: winner of Match 4 vs. winner of Match 5 - 12 p.m.
CHAMPIONSHIP - Sunday, April 21
Match 8: winner of Match 6 vs. winner of Match 7 - 12 p.m.