Here is a preview of this weekend's MAC men's tennis action.
Men's Tennis Hosts Two Matches This Weekend
First Serve: Ball State men's tennis will host Brown University Friday at 2 p.m. at the Muncie YMCA Tennis Center. The Cardinals are looking to rebound from their 6-1 loss at Big Ten foe No. 33 Indiana Sunday. The lone winner for the Cardinals was Austin Smith who won at the No. 6 singles position in straight sets (6-1, 6-3) against Elliott Yee. Ball State enters the match with a 3-3 overall record while Brown owns a 2-2 overall record.
Leonord Named Player of the Week (Jan. 30): Ball State sophomore Ray Leonard was named the Mid-American Conference Tennis Player of the Week for the third time in his career. Leonard helped the Cardinals improve to 3-2 overall on the season after going 3-0 at No. 1 singles and No.1 doubles. With the wins Leonard now owns a 4-1 record in singles action. He won in straight sets over Detroit Mercy (7-5, 6-2), Eastern Illinois (6-3, 6-2) and Dayton (6-2, 6-4).
What's Next: The Ball State men's tennis team will host IUPUI Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Muncie YMCA Tennis Center.
Men's tennis weekly update
David and Mehta Score Doubles Win: The University at Buffalo men's tennis team dropped a 6-1 decision to the University of Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon at the Levy Tennis Pavilion. The Bulls are 2-1 in spring play.
Damien David and Akhil Mehta scored a doubles win in the number one match for the Bulls. The duo knocked off Jeremy Court and Nikola Kocovic in a 7-5 tiebreaker to take the match 8-7. The Quakers took the other two doubles contests by 8-2 margins. With the victory, David became the first Bull this season to post double-digit doubles wins with his 10th. Also David and Mehta remained undefeated as a tandem this spring with a 3-0 dual meet record.
Ionescu Remains Undefeated: In singles play, Sebastian Ionescu remained undefeated as a Bull with a third-set super-tiebreaker win over Ismael Lahlou. Ionescu scored a 10-6 win the super-tiebreaker. The sophomore transfer is 3-0 since joining the Bulls at the beginning of the second semester. Two other UB newcomers, Pablo Alvarez, in the number four match, and Ashwin Sharma, in the number five match, were handed their first defeats with the team as both players fell to their Quakers opponents, 6-4, 6-2.
Poison Ivy? UB's match against Penn was the first of four this season against Ivy League opponents. The Bulls will get a crack at Cornell, another Ivy League program, in Ithaca, NY this weekend. In March, the Bulls will travel to Princeton (March 2) and Brown (March 9).
A Nickell's Worth: Head coach Lee Nickell spoke following the Penn match. "We have a very young team and today the inexperience showed," said Nickell. "We have a very resilient team and we'll bounce back for Cornell."
Huskies Road Trip South to Take on Saint Louis and SIUe
NIU takes 5-1 mark on the road
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois men's tennis will take it's five-match winning streak to the road this weekend when it takes on SIU-Edwardsville and Saint Louis Feb. 8 and 9, respectively. Both matches will be at the teams respective home courts.
The Huskies hosted a trio of matches last weekend at Boylan Tennis Center as they welcomed Dayton, Illinois-Chicago and Valparaiso, the first and the latter taking on NIU Friday afternoon. Northern Illinois won all three contests, taking the doubles point in both of Friday's matches. The Huskies sent the Flyers packing, 5-2, slayed the Crusaders, 7-0, and extinguished the Flames, 4-2.
Sophomore Frederic Cadieux continued his amazing start to the singles season, extending his unbeaten streak to 6-0 at No. 2 and 3 singles. Classmate Dor Amir finished 4-1 over the weekend, including three wins in singles to earn Mid-American Conference Tennis Player of the Week honors.
SIUe is 2-0 this season, with wins at IUPUI (4-3) and a win over South Dakota State (6-1). However, the Cougars have not been in action since their match with the Jackrabbits Jan. 27. They will open up the weekend with a match at Missouri-Kansas City Friday afternoon before welcoming the Huskies on Sunday. No 1 Marten Jonsson, No. 3 Jacob Perkins, No. 4 Jacob Tanulanond and No. 5 Nico Kuehn are all 2-0 in singles thus far in 2013.
The Billikens are 1-2 this spring with their lone win also coming at the hands of SDSU in SLU's season opener, 5-2. Since then, the team has hosted Bradley (L, 6-1) and Eastern Illinois (L, 4-3) and has fallen at the hands of both opponents. Saint Louis will take the road for the first time this season when it takes on IUPUI Friday afternoon. The Billikens are fairly even keeled in doubles thus far this season with a 2-2 record across the board at Nos. 1 through 3.
Following their weekend down South, Northern Illinois will take a weekend off before returning to action Feb. 23 at Boylan Tennis Center to host Green Bay and Western Illinois.
Rockets to Host Ferris State and Wayne State on Friday
TOLEDO, OH - The Toledo men's tennis team will host Ferris State and Wayne State in a doubleheader on Friday inside the Shadow Valley Tennis Club. The opening match against the Bulldogs is slated for 2:00 p.m. and the nightcap versus the Warriors (0-1) will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m.
"We have six weeks of non-conference play left," UT head coach Al Wermer said. "We'll continue to challenge our guys to see who's going to come forward and fulfill their potential in our doubles and our lower-lineup area. It's a perfect opportunity for a couple guys. These type of matches are a great testing center."
The Midnight Blue & Gold have posted a 7-5 overall ledger through the first three weeks of the season. Most recently, the Rockets won two out of three matches last weekend on the road. UT defeated Youngstown State 7-0 on Feb. 1, then moved on to Pittsburgh where they beat Georgetown 4-3 on Feb. 2, and fell to host Duquesne 5-2 to close out the weekend.
Sophomore Grant Adams finished with a solid 5-1 combined record last weekend and holds an overall singles record of 8-3 on the season.
Following this weekend, UT will travel to Illinois Feb. 15-16 to play matches against Western Illinois, Bradley and DePaul.
Three-Match Weekend Awaits Men's Tennis
Western Michigan Broncos vs. Cleveland State Vikings
Friday, Feb. 8 // 1 p.m.; Kalamazoo, Mich. // West Hills Athletic Club
Western Michigan Broncos vs. Aquinas College Saints
Friday, Feb. 8 // 6 p.m.; Kalamazoo, Mich. // West Hills Athletic Club
Western Michigan Broncos vs. Illinois State Redbirds
Sunday, Feb. 10 // 11 a.m.; Kalamazoo, Mich. // West Hills Athletic Club
THE SERIES: This will be the second meeting between the Broncos and the Vikings, with the teams splitting the series at one win apiece. The Vikings beat the Broncos in a match played in Cleveland last year, winning 4-3. Nadin Indre and Ross VanderPloeg picked up singles wins for the Broncos. This will, however, be the first meeting between the Broncos and the Saints.
This will be the 23rd meeting between Western Michigan and Illinois State, with the Broncos holding a 16-6 advantage in the all-time series. The last time the teams met was just last season, when the Broncos narrowly edged the Redbirds 4-3 in Normal. Ross VanderPloeg clinched the match victory with a win in the No. 5 singles, defeating Jordan Badenko 6-2, 6-3. The Broncos won the doubles point, which turned out to be the difference as the teams split the six singles matches.
WHAT THEY DID IN THE FALL: Cleveland State participated in the Vredevelt Invite hosted at Western Michigan this past fall, and consequently the two teams saw their individuals square off more than a few times in the fall season. Members of the Broncos went 2-5 in singles play against Cleveland State at the tournament, with Ross VanderPloeg and Andrew Cahn recording wins.
The Broncos fared better in doubles play, where they went 2-1; Michael Treis and Jim Beckwith earned a win over Joe VanMeter and Matt Ford, and Cahn teamed with Marc Shideler to beat Matt Kuelker and Nolan Marks.
Illinois State also participated in the Vredevelt Invite but there were only four singles matches that featured members of the Broncos and the Redbirds. Members of the Broncos went 3-1 in singles play against members of the Redbirds at the tournament: Ross VanderPloeg toughed out a three-set victory over Alex Peleaz; Andrew Cahn defeated Michael Sellitto 6-0, 6-2; and Michael Treis defeated Muddappa Appaenervanda in a three-set super tiebreaker.