Feb. 25, 2009
TAMPA, Fla. - After a three-week home stand, the No. 28 Auburn men's tennis team heads south to face the No. 37 South Florida Bulls at 2 p.m. Thursday. The men bring a 4-1 record into the match and will be met by the 4-3 Bulls.
The road match will be the first for the Tigers since travelling to Boise, Idaho for the ITA National Indoor Qualifier. Since then, the Tigers have compiled a 3-0 home record and look to keep their success while on the road.
"It's our first real road match of the year, as the Indoor Qualifier was on a neutral site," head coach Eric Shore stated. "I think it's going to be our toughest test so far, other than Stanford. (South Florida) plays with extreme confidence on their home courts and they have a more experienced team than they did last year. We're going to have to play extremely well tomorrow."
Auburn will try to continue its winning doubles efforts as the No. 15 pair, Alexey Tsyrenov and Tim Puetz, and the No. 50 duo, Lukas Marsoun and Alex Stamchev, aim to improve their perfect 4-0 records.
In singles, the Tigers will be led by senior Tsyrenov who ranks 41st in the nation with a 3-1 record. Following Tsyrenov, Puetz holds a 5-0 record and ranks 56th in the ITA singles rankings.
The Bulls will be led by sophomore Lucas Jovita, who ranks 53rd nationally in singles competition and holds a 4-2 record. Jovita helps to comprise the No. 54 doubles team alongside Thomas Estrada. The two have won three in-a-row, including a win over the Florida Gators' top doubles team, which ranks 23rd in the ITA rankings.
In the last meeting between the Tigers and the Bulls, Auburn took a 7-0 sweep at home with Tsyrenov, Puetz, Marsoun and Alex Petropoulos each contributing singles wins.
In Auburn's last outing, the Tigers took a 4-2 win over Georgia Tech after a tough afternoon of competition. With Auburn's top two doubles pairs winning their match-ups, the Tigers took the doubles point and headed into singles with an early lead. With the lead being tossed back-and-forth in singles, senior Milan Krnjetin finally clinched the match with his 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win.
Following the Thursday match, the Tigers will return to the plains to host No. 22 North Carolina at the Yarbrough Tennis Center at 1 p.m. Sunday.