University of Memphis men's tennis players David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury handed the Tennessee duo of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese, the preseason No. 1 ranked team in the country in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, their first loss of the season with an 8-4 Memphis victory in the semifinal round of the ITA Ohio Valley Regionals, Sunday. The win is the second of the fall over a top-10 ranked opponent for O'Hare and Salisbury, who upended the No. 6 ranked team from Mississippi State at the ITA All-Americans last weekend, and sets up a Monday morning final against the Middle Tennessee team of Victor Cornea and David Fox, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
The semifinals win was the second of the day for the Tiger duo. They opened their morning with an 8-1 win over the Morehead State team of Ji Hoon Heo and Jack Swindells to earn the semifinal slot against the country's No. 1 ranked doubles team that was playing on its home court and was coming off a doubles victory in the ITA All-American last weekend.
The duo was not done after the two doubles matches though, as both O'Hare and Salisbury had advanced to the singles quarterfinal round that was played Sunday afternoon. They were joined in the quarterfinals draw by teammate Johnny Grimal. Playing their third match of the day, O'Hare and Salisbury both fell in straight sets. O'Hare lost to Purdue's Ricky Medinilla, 6-3, 7-6, while Salisbury lost to Middle Tennessee's Fox, who he will see again in the doubles final on Monday, 6-2, 7-5.
Grimal won the first set of his match, 6-1, then fell short in a pair of nail biters, falling 7-5, 7-6 in the second and third sets to end his tournament schedule.
After the doubles final on Monday morning, the Tigers will return home and shift from indoor hardcourt mode into outdoor clay mode, playing in the USTA Player's Choice Open Futures tournament in Birmingham, beginning on Thursday.
ITA Ohio Valley Regional
No. 3 seed David O'Hare/Joe Salisbury (Memphis) def. Ji Hoon Heo/Jack Swindells (Morehead), 8-1
No. 3 seed David O'Hare/Joe Salisbury (Memphis) def. No. 1 seed Mikelis Liebietis/Hunter Reese (Tennessee), 8-4
Monday, 8:30 a.m. (ET) - No. 3 seed David O'Hare/Joe Salisbury (Memphis) vs. No. seed Victor Cornea/David Fox (Middle Tennessee)
Ricky Medinilla (Purdue) def. David O'Hare (Memphis), 6-3, 7-6
David Fox (Middle Tennessee) def. Joe Salisbury, 6-2, 7-5
David Biosca (East Tennessee State) def. Johnny Grimal (Memphis), 1-6, 7-5, 7-6