Feb. 8, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - -
The University of Louisville men's tennis team will play host to third-ranked Ohio State Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. Admission to the match is free.
"We are excited that the No. 3 team in the country will be at Bass-Rudd," said U of L tennis coach Rex Ecarma. "To get a non-conference team of this caliber to play us is important. They have won the Big Ten six years in a row and they are one of the favorites to win the national championship. We plan to battle and play to our strengths. Our team will always compete. We hope this match will attract a big crowd of people - even if they've never seen a tennis match. The match starts at 4 p.m., but we hope fans will come out and cheer us on at any point. There will be plenty of great tennis to see."
U of L (4-3) stands at No. 35 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings after a convincing 6-1 win over No. 29 Minnesota on Saturday. In that match the Cards fell behind after losing the doubles point, but rallied for a singles sweep to snap a three-match losing streak.
Scouting Ohio State
Ohio State (7-0) is making its first road trip of the season following of a 4-1 victory over No. 12 Pepperdine last Friday. The Buckeyes bring the nation's top-ranked doubles team in Blaz Rola and Chase Buchanan while Buchanan teams with Peter Kobelt to stand in at No. 10. Devin McCarthy and IlleVan Engelen stand in at No. 15 while Rola and Smith are No. 30.
The Buckeyes have four players in the ITA singles rankings with Rola leading the way at No. 8. Two-time defending Big Ten Player of the Year Buchanan is No. 28. Ille Van Engelen and Connor Smith are No. 116 and 123 respectively.
Freshman Sebastian Stiefelmeyer was named BIG EAST Men's Tennis Player of the Week on Feb. 7. Stiefelmeyer recorded two singles victories, including a two-set win over a ranked opponent, to lead the Cardinals to a 1-1 week. He beat Michigan's Alex Petrone 6-2, 7-5 at the No. 3 spot for a point in a 5-2 loss to the No. 31 Wolverines. The rookie also downed No. 118 Leandro Toledo 7-6, 7-5 at the No. 2 position to give UofL a 6-1 win over No. 29 Minnesota. Stiefelmeyer is unbeaten in singles this season, with a 6-0 record.
Senior Andrew Carter
stands in at No. 113 in singles and pairs with freshman Sebastian Stiefelmeyer
at No. 24 in the doubles rankings.
Freshman Michael Lippens leads the team with a 17-5 overall singles record and is 4-1 in dual matches. Albert Wagner follows closely with a 16-5 overall mark and is 5-1 in the 2012 dual season. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer stands at third on the team with a 15-4 record and carries a perfect 6-0 mark in dual matches.
The Cards have a 31 match unbeaten streak at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center dating back to a 4-3 victory over Notre Dame on April 11, 2009. They are 2-0 in the 2012 season and compiled an 11-0 record when playing at the Bass Rudd Tennis Center in 2011. The Cardinals were also perfect at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center during the 2010 season, going 12-0.
U of L will play its third contest of a seven-match homestand when Clemson visits the BRTC on Feb. 11 at 5 p.m.