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Green Wave Tennis Goes Undefeated for the Weekend

April 17, 2004

Lewis Lowe, <i>Hullabaloo</i> staff writer

hullabaloo.online@tulane.org

Both the men's and women's tennis teams went undefeated for the weekend, the last games in the regular season. The men's tennis team defeated three ranked opponents, most notably archrival LSU, while the women went 4-0 and improved their ranking to 13th, the highest ever for the Wave.

Last Wednesday Tulane hosted LSU as a part of the Bill Goldring/Stanley Jacobs Challenge. Goldring, a Tulane alumnus, and Jacobs, an LSU alumunus, have both served on their respective school's board of regents and the annual Tulane-LSU matchup is dedicated to them. The stands were packed for the match-up between the two nationally ranked teams.

The 14th-ranked Tigers got out to an early lead by taking two of three matches for the doubles point. Tulane's No. 1 team of David Goulet and Michael Kogan, ranked 35th, was the lone win in doubles. They defeated the 26th-ranked team of Jason Hazley and Bryan Fisher 8-6.

In singles, 18th-ranked Tulane was able to take five of six singles en route to the 5-2 upset victory over the Tigers. The only loss was Alberto Sottocorno at six singles, which was very close. He lost in the third set after splitting the first two. The only other close match was at three singles.

Ted Angelinos defeated Peter Richman 7-6 (7-3) in the third. Kogan, ranked 13th, and No. 79 Dmitriy Koch won in straight sets at one and two singles, with Kogan defeating 28th-ranked Ken Skupski 6-2, 6-3. It was senior day for three graduating members of the team. Michael Kogan, who was a three-time C-USA Player of the Year and a two-time All-American, Hannu Piiroinen, and Goran Vasiljevic were honored between doubles and singles play.

Over the weekend, the Wave traveled to Tennessee to face 64th-ranked Middle Tennessee St. and Vanderbilt last Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Tulane edged both teams 4-3. Against MTSU, Tulane once again dropped the doubles point, but won four of six singles to win the overall match. Kogan defeated 120th-ranked Andreas Siljestrom 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 at one singles, while Goulet and Jacobo Hernandez won at four and five respectively.

The match came down to Sottocorno's match at six singles. After splitting the first sets with Rishan Kiruppu 7-6, 4-6, Sottocorno won the third set 6-3 to clinch the victory for the Wave. At 24th-ranked Vanderbilt Sunday, the Wave won two of three doubles matches to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Kogan and Goulet continued their excellent play with a win at one doubles, while Koch and Hernandez picked up the second victory at three doubles.

In singles, Koch picked up perhaps his biggest victory of the year, defeating 24th-ranked Chad Harris 6-4, 6-2 at two singles. Hernandez also won at five, cruising past Lewis Smith 6-2, 6-1. The match came down to Kogan at one singles. Tulane's most dependable player over the past four years came through with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over 65th-ranked Scott Brown.

With the victories, Tulane is now 15-4 and has won 11 of its last 12 matches. The Wave's ranking of 18th is the highest since the beginning of the season and is up nine spots from its previous ranking of 27th. The men are seeded second behind Texas Christian in the C-USA tournament, being played this weekend in Memphis.

Tulane, the defending champions, will face either Memphis or Marquette in the second round. The women had a full slate of matches over the week. Two weeks ago, Tulane had what was probably its biggest victory of the year, a 5-2 thumping of 12th-ranked Texas in Austin. Last Monday, the Wave played host to crosstown rival UNO, coming away with a 7-0 victory. Tulane played host to C-USA rival South Florida last Thursday.

The Wave crushed USF 5-0, with the final two matches halted due to USF's travel plans. In singles play, Tulane dropped just five games total in the four matches played to completion. The Wave played host to 75th-ranked Rice Saturday, dominating the Owls with a 6-1 victory. Tulane swept the doubles play to jump out to an early lead.

The only loss at singles was 93rd-ranked Maria Ivanov at one singles, dropping the match 6-3, 6-3 to Blair DiSesa. Jenny Kuhn, ranked 107th, defeated Lauren Archer at two singles by the score of 6-1, 6-2, while 49th-ranked Julie Smekodub downed Tracie Chong 6-1, 6-3 at three singles. Darya Ivanov, Dorottya Magas, and 47th-ranked Erika Valdes all had easy straight-set victories at four, five, and six singles respectively.

Arkansas came to town last Sunday, and the Wave rolled again, defeating the 69th-ranked Razorbacks 6-0. Due to inclement weather, the match was moved to indoor courts at the Hilton Rivercenter. Because of the change of events, doubles was not played. In singles, the Wave won five of six matches in straight sets.

Kuhn defeated Anna Dybicz 6-1, 6-0 at one singles, Magas blasted Megan Ferreira 6-1, 6-1 at three singles, and 114th-ranked Ana Saaibi shut out Christin Kincannon 6-0, 6-0.

"A variety of people stepped up for us at different times. We really played well over the week," Women's Head Coach David Schumacher said. "I was glad to see that Arkansas's coach said that we are a legitimate Final Four team."

The Wave is now 21-1 on the season and is 13-0 at home. Tulane is also 14-1 against ranked opponents and has won 12 straight on the year. Despite winning four matches on the week, the Wave dropped two spots in the rankings to 15th. For her play, Kuhn won the C-USA Player of the Week award for the third time this season.

The women are seeded first in the C-USA tournament, being played this weekend in Louisville, and will face either Charlotte or East Carolina in the second round. The women are also defending their 2003 C-USA tournament title. If Tulane makes it to the finals as expected, the Wave will face TCU, which it beat 4-3 at home earlier in the season.

"If we play TCU, it will be a fight," Schumacher said. Schumacher feels confident that Tulane will host a first round regional if it wins the tournament and defeats LSU, whom the Wave face in Baton Rouge at 4:30 p.m. April 23. "I'd really like to see a lot of Wave fans make the trip up the river and support us," he said. "Fan support really does help, especially against a good team like LSU."

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