April 4, 2014
The SMU Mustangs will play their fourth straight match against a ranked opponent as they travel to Stillwater, Okla., to face No. 23 Oklahoma State on Sunday at 12 p.m. SMU will then return home to play UT Arlington on Wednesday at 3 p.m. SMU is 9-10 on the season with a 6-1 record in home matches. The Mustangs will play their final regular season match against Rice on April 13 at 1 p.m. at the Lakes Tennis Academy in Frisco, Texas.
SCOUTING OKLAHOMA STATE
The Cowboys are 19-3 this season and are ranked 23rd nationally in the latest ITA Top 75. Oklahoma State boasts eight wins over ranked teams, including a 4-2 victory over No. 6 Tennessee on Jan. 31. All three of the team's losses have come to teams ranked 32nd or higher, with its most recent defeat coming at No. 11 Texas on March 30. Jakob Sude is ranked 61st in the nation in singles with a 16-7 overall record and an 8-4 mark in the spring. Lucas Gerch is a perfect 15-0 in the spring, going 11-0 at the No. 4 spot, and Brady Bohrnstedt is 12-2 in dual matches. Sude and Arjun Kadhe are 7-0 in doubles this spring at the No. 1 position.
SMU has won the last two meetings in the series, including a win in Dallas last season on March 30. The Mustangs won 4-3, with Mischa Nowicki winning a three-set thriller at No. 5 singles to seal the victory. Arturs Kazijevs also won at No. 1 singles, Gaston Cuadranti won at No. 3 and SMU took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and 2. SMU also won on March 22, 2011, on the road, 6-1.
SCOUTING UT ARLINGTON
SMU is 7-11 this season, winning its last two matches at the Middle Tennessee Shootout over Southern Illinois on March 29 (4-2) and versus Troy on March 30 (4-2). Daniel Armengol is 9-4 this spring, including a 9-3 record at the No. 3 spot. He has also won four straight and six of nine matches overall. Mario Muniesa is 9-7 in singles with seven wins at No. 5. UTA has two doubles pairs with eight wins, with Carlos Arbiza and Javier Perez collecting seven wins at No. 1 doubles.
SMU has won 15 straight matches over UT Arlington dating back to 1994. The two teams were scheduled to meet last season, but the match was cancelled due to weather. The last meeting came on April 4, 2012, a 4-3 SMU victory in Dallas. Mischa Nowicki and Arturs Kazijevs each picked up singles wins in the victory.
SMU's two seniors - Alex Sanders and Mischa Nowicki, have played strong tennis as of late, and earned the praise of head coach Carl Neufeld. "Our seniors are leading the way for us," Neufeld said after SMU's tight 4-3 loss to No. 19 Columbia on March 18. Sanders leads the Mustangs with 10 wins in dual matches, including a 5-3 record at No. 3 singles. Sanders won two matches at No. 1 from March 7-10 against Nicholls State and Cleveland State, and is 5-3 in his last nine decisions. Nowicki has six wins in dual matches, including at the No. 2 position versus No. 19 Columbia. Nowicki now has 42 wins in his career at SMU.
SUCCESS AT SIX
The SMU Mustangs hold a 11-5 (.688) record in No. 6 singles, their top mark for any singles spot. Nate Lammons is 5-2 when playing at six, while freshmen Juliio Olaya (4-0) and Arkidjas Slobodkins (2-1) have also garnered strong results at the position. Lammons also played solid tennis at No. 6 last season, going 9-5 in 2013 to total a 13-6 record over his two seasons.
ROAD FROM RIGA
SMU has two players that hail from Riga, Latvia - junior Arturs Kazijevs and freshman Arkidjas Slobodkins. Kazijevs began the season nationally ranked in singles and currently holds a 6-6 record, playing 10 matches at the No. 1 spot. Slobodkins began his collegiate career in January, and won six of his first seven matches. Last season, Kazijevs earned First Team All-Conference USA honors and ended the 2012-13 season ranked 108th in the nation.
SMU's three freshmen, Arkidjas Slobodkins, Julio Olaya and Tony Russell, have accumulated 16 wins in dual matches this spring and 21 wins overall. Slobodkins has four wins at No. 5 singles, Olaya has four victories at No. 6 and Russell is a perfect 2-0 when playing at the No. 5 spot.
ACES IN PAIRS
The Mustangs boast a 34-26 overall record in doubles for the 2013-14 season, led by the tandem of Nate Lammons and Alex Sanders, who are 17-7 overall and 7-4 in the spring. The duo won the doubles title at the Jack Kramer Club Invite in the fall, and have won three straight decisions this spring. Arturs Kazijevs and Mischa Nowicki are 5-5 in dual matches at the No. 1 position, while Nowicki and Arkidjas Slobodkins (2-2) won their first two matches at No. 1 as a duo.
SMU TO PLAY RICE IN FRISCO
SMU will host Rice at the Lakes Tennis Academy in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. Free brisket tacos from 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House will be served starting at 12:45 p.m. for the first 300 or so guests. The first 150 people to arrive will receive free long-sleeve t-shirts. The event is free to attend.
LAST TIME OUT (4/2/14):
SMU FALLS AT TCU, 4-2
Junior Arturs Kazijevs picked up a huge win over No. 46 Nick Chappell and sophomore Nate Lammons also picked up a victory in singles, but it was not enough as SMU dropped a tough road match at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.
Kazijevs won in three sets over Chappell; 6-4, 3-6, 10-5. Kazjievs now has four wins over ranked opponents this season. Chappell also has won against four ranked foes, and the junior entered the match with 19 wins overall. Lammons won in straight sets at No. 6 singles over Andres Alfonzo; 6-4, 7-6 (5).
TCU, which entered the match ranked 56th nationally, took the opening doubles point with close victories at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles.
The Horned Frogs won singles matches at Nos. 3-5 in straight sets, while the battle at No. 2 between Alex Sanders and Lugones went unfinished after each player won one set.