Jan. 10, 2013
DALLAS (SMU) - The SMU Mustangs will start off its springs schedule with a tough home match against No. 23 Texas on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Dallas Country Club. SMU will be in its first action since closing out the fall season on Nov. 4.
The Mustangs are anticipating a strong 2013 season with a young team that worked hard throughout the fall campaign. SMU witnessed some notable achievements during that span, including two wins over ranked opponents by Arturs Kazijevs. The Riga, Latvia, native defeated No. 7 Mate Zsiga of Baylor at the Texas Regionals (7-5; 6-2) and No. 120 Bruno Abdelnour of Illinois at the Aggie Invite (6-2; 7-6). Redshirt freshman Nate Lammons won four matches at the Easley Memorial en route to a tournament championship in his flight. Gaston Cuadranti, the team's lone senior, also posted a winning record in the fall, including a win over Texas' David Holiner at the Texas Regional (7-6; 3-6; 6-3). Mischa Nowicki and Ross Peets could also play significant roles in the team's success this spring.
"We're excited about our team and our depth," Carl Neufeld, SMU's Head Coach since 1994, said. "It's a very talented team that works extremely hard. That usually means that we'll have a good year."
The match will mark the 25th meeting between the two programs, dating back to 1985. The Longhorns have a historically strong program, including five top-12 finishes nationally since the 2005-06 season. Texas has three players that currently hold a top-100 national ranking. Soren Hess-Oleson (No. 31), Daniel Whitehead (No. 43) and Nick Naumann (No. 98) lead the Longhorns, along with Holiner, a Dallas native who was the No. 1 player in the state of Texas coming out of high school.
Defeating Texas on Saturday would mean SMU's first win in the series since 2001, and Neufeld believes his team is prepared to give the Longhorns a tough challenge.
"We'd love to start the 2013 season with a bang," Neufeld said.