April 4, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - -
The University of Louisville men's tennis team will host a doubleheader on Thursday at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. The Cards will take on Eastern Kentucky at 12 p.m. and Wright State at 5.p.m.
Thursday will be the last home match for seniors Andrew Carter, Adam Donaldson, Sumit Gupta and Robert Hall. As a class, they have won two BIG EAST Championships, appeared in three NCAA tournaments and helped the Cards to their best finish when they reached the round of 16 in 2010.
"We have been preparing hard for this doubleheader," said U of L head coach Rex Ecarma. "Both teams are good and will test us physically. We hope we can get a good turnout for the last home match of Robert Hall, Andrew Carter, Sumit Gupta and Adam Donaldson - better known as the `Fire Department.' They are loud and proud and bleed Cardinal red through and through. There will be a free cookout for the 5 p.m. senior night match against Wright State."
The Cards (13-8) enter the match at No. 35 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association team rankings, moving up 10 spots after last week's 4-3 upset of No. 23 Indiana.
"It's nice to move up 10 spots nationally, especially with only three weeks left in the regular season," said Ecarma. "Earlier this season, we played too cautiously and played not to lose instead of to win. Our thee now is tow swing big and play loose. We started playing this way since the Virginia Tech match and have won every match since then. These players enjoy playing this way and it shows."
Louisville is coming off of a 4-3 road victory over No. 23 Indiana last Wednesday. Senior Andrew Carter and freshman Albert Wagner are No. 64 in the ITA doubles rankings. Freshman Michael Lippens leads the team with 27-8 singles records. Lippens is 13-5 in dual matches, playing mostly at Nos. 3 and 4.
Eastern Kentucky brings a 14-7 record into Thursday's match. The preseason Ohio Valley Conference favorites are coming off of two convincing wins at home over Eastern Illinois and SIUE. This will be the 24th meeting between the teams. The Cardinals have won the last eight meetings, and have not given up a single team point in the last six.
Wright State enters the match with a 14-3 record. The Raiders recently had a 12-match winning streak snapped in a loss to Xavier. This will be the seventh meeting between the teams with the Cardinals winning all six of the previous meetings 7-0. Sophomore Hayden Joblin leads the Raiders after being named the Horizon League Athlete of the Week twice this season.
Following Thursday's match, the Cards will return to action as they hit the road on April 14 to face conference rival No. 43 Notre Dame at 1 p.m. in South Bend.