SMU To Participate In HEB Tournament of Champions Starting Tomorrow
Feb. 27, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (SMU) - The SMU Mustangs will begin a four-match weekend at the HEB Tournament of Champions with a match against Western Michigan on Friday at 9 a.m. The event is hosted by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and all matches will be played at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center or the HEB Tennis Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
ABOUT THE HEB TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS Eight teams will converge upon Corpus Christi, Texas, beginning tomorrow morning. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will host the event, and will be joined by SMU, Louisiana-Lafayette, DePaul, South Alabama, Western Michigan, UTSA and Tulane. Two matches will be played on both Friday and Saturday.
SCOUTING WESTERN MICHIGAN Western Michigan is 6-4 this season. The Broncos started the season 3-1, with their only loss in January coming against No. 26 Michigan on Jan. 18. Western Michigan has played five straight home matches, going 3-2 during the streak. The Broncos are led by senior Nadin Indre, who is 8-1 in No. 1 singles and 18-9 overall for the 2013-14 season.
SERIES INFO This will mark the first-ever meeting between the programs.
SCOUTING UTSA The Roadrunners are 3-7 this season, with all three wins coming consecutively from Feb. 8-14. The third win came against No. 69 Samford on Feb. 14. Since then, UTSA has lost four straight, three of which being by scores of 4-3. Joel Rubio has UTSA’s top singles mark, going 7-3 this spring and 7-2 at the No. 3 position.
SERIES INFO SMU has won the last five meetings with the Roadrunners, including a 5-2 home victory on Jan. 31. Alex Sanders, Mischa Nowicki, Arkidjas Slobodkins and Julio Olaya all came away with singles victories while SMU won in the first two sets of doubles matches.
LAST MEETING W/ UTSA (Jan. 31, 2014) - SMU TOPS UTSA IN HOME OPENER, 5-2
SMU took the doubles point and won four of six singles matches to defeat the UTSA Roadrunners, 5-2, in its home opener at the Bent Tree Country Club. SMU picked up the doubles point to get on the board first, winning at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. Arturs Kazijevs and Mischa Nowicki won 6-3 at No. 1, while Alex Sanders and Nate Lammons won 6-2 in the second spot. SMU rattled off three straight set wins to clinch the match victory, taking victories at positions 4-6, with two coming from freshmen. Nowicki won 6-2; 6-3, over Kolby Kilgo at No. 4, Arkidjas Slobodkins won 6-2; 6-0, over Eric Buchalter at No. 5 and Julio Olaya defeated Boburjon Kamiljanov 6-3; 6-2, at No. 6. “Our younger guys are really coming through for us,” SMU Head Coach Carl Neufeld said. “It was great to win the doubles point. That was a good team, and we played a tough match. We had to play really well to beat them. We work on a lot of little things individually to get better and there’s a lot of things we’re improving on weekly. Today was an example of a match where we were much better today than a week ago.” Sanders collected SMU’s fifth point with a win at No. 2 singles, defeating Yannick Junger 6-5; 3-6; 6-5 (4).
SCOUTING TULANE Tulane is 6-2 this season, winning its most recent match against Samford on Feb. 16. The Green Wave’s only two losses came at No. 67 Wisconsin and at UAB. Tulane has been ranked as high as No. 68 this season, but has since fallen out of the ITA poll. Dominik Koepfer is 8-0 this spring and 13-3 overall for the 2013-14 season. Alex Van Cott is 8-0 this spring playing at No. 5 and No. 6 singles while Alex Van Cott is 7-1 at the same spots. Koepfer and Jao Chi-Shan lead Tulane in doubles, going 5-1 in the first position and 7-1 overall this spring.
SERIES INFO SMU has won the last three meetings between the schools, including a tight 4-3 victory in Dallas last season. Prior to SMU’s three-match streak, Tulane had won three straight in the series from 2003-05. The two schools last met in a neutral setting on Jan. 24, 2003, a 5-2 victory for the Green Wave.
LAST MEETING W/ TULANE (March 3, 2013) - SMU BEATS TULANE IN THRILLER, 4-3
The SMU Mustangs beat Tulane 4-3 on March 3, 2013, in a hard-fought match that went down to the final singles bout. Nate Lammons defeated Takuma Ohashi 7-6; 6-3 to clinch victory for SMU. The Mustangs got a jump on the Green Wave by securing the doubles point quickly. The duo of Alex Sanders and Gaston Cuadranti won their doubles match 8-5, and Lammons paired with Pablo Perez-Esnaola to win theirs 9-7. In singles, Arturs Kazijevs won from the No. 1 spot, 6-1; 6-1. Kazijevs lost the first game of the first set, but took control from there on out. Mischa Nowicki won from the No. 5 position, 6-3; 7-5 to improve his season record to 4-4.
MUSTANGS RETURN FIVE LETTERWINNERS Arturs Kazijevs, Alex Sanders, Mischa Nowicki, Nate Lammons and Eduardo Razzeto all return for the Mustangs this season. Kazijevs finished 2012-13 ranked in the ITA top 125 in singles, earning First Team All-Conference USA honors. Kazijevs and Nowicki teamed up to earn a second team spot in doubles. Sanders and Nowicki are the only seniors on the team. Joining the team. Tony Russell will make his spring debut after redshirting last season, and both Julio Olaya and Arkidjas Slobodkins will join the roster as freshmen.
LAST TIME OUT: SMU FALLS TO OLE MISS, 4-0
The SMU Mustangs fought hard for three hours, but it was not enough as the Ole Miss Rebels defeated SMU, 4-0, in Waco, Texas on Saturday afternoon. The Mustangs dropped to 5-5 with the loss while Ole Miss, ranked 26th in the nation, improved to 2-2. The Rebels tallied the opening doubles point after winning at positions one and three by close scores of 8-6 each. Ole Miss won at No. 2, 3 and 5 singles to clinch the victory. Arturs Kazijevs and Nate Lammons were likely on their way to third sets in their singles matches before the match was called. “It was a great battle that lasted three hours and I’m excited that we were able to go toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the country,” SMU head coach Carl Neufeld said. “We took a big step as how we fought as a team and now must take this positive step into practice next week and for the tournament in Corpus Christi.”