Marist Menís Tennis And #9 Longhorns Face Off In NCAA First Round
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Marist men’s tennis team travels to Austin, Texas for the 2014 NCAA Tournament where the Red Foxes will take on ninth-seeded and host Texas in the First Round. The match will be played on Friday, May 9 at 2 p.m. ET at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center. The winner of the Marist-Texas match will advance to the Second Round to play the winner of Mississippi State and Louisiana-Lafayette. That Second Round match will take place on Saturday, May 10, also in Austin.
This is Marist’s 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament, all coming in the past 17 years under Head Coach Tim Smith. It is the sixth time in the past seven years that the Red Foxes have advanced to the field of 64.
The Red Foxes enter the NCAA Tournament having won their past eight matches. Marist posted a perfect 7-0 mark against MAAC opponents, for the fifth straight season, giving Marist an overall winning streak of 31 matches in conference regular season play. Marist is 119-6 in conference play under Tim Smith. The Red Foxes also defended their home court to near perfection, losing just one match this season in six matches played in Poughkeepsie.
How They Got Here
Marist clinched its berth into the NCAA Tournament by defeating the second-seeded Monmouth 4-2 in the 2014 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship on April 27.
The top-seeded Red Foxes (15-4, 7-0 MAAC) bounced back after Monmouth took the doubles point, winning four of the five singles’ matches that were completed.
Sophomore Fredrik Bjerke (Oslo, Norway) clinched the match for Marist with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win over Luke Adamus at fifth singles. Junior Joseph Dube (Livonia, Mich.) was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, finishing the tournament 3-0.
Marist picked up the doubles point in an exciting fashion, with a tiebreaker in third doubles. Seniors Lorenzo Rossi (Lugano, Switzerland) and Will Reznek (Toronto, Canada) fell to Victor Pugliese and Christian Vieira in first doubles, 8-5. Senior Dalen Klassen (St. Louis, Mo.) and sophomore Trym Nagelstad (Oslo, Norway) topped Ramy Bekhiet and Freddy Marcinkowski in second doubles, 8-6. Junior Matteo Giudici (Parma, Italy) and Dube sealed the deal with an 8-7 (7-4) victory over Bee Kumthonkittikul and Przemyslaw Filipek.
The first singles match between Rossi and Pugliese was unfinished. Klassen fell to Filipek in second singles, 6-1, 6-2. Reznek got the ball rolling for Marist with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Kumthonkittikul at third singles, 6-4, 6-2. Dube picked up the third point for Marist at fourth singles with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Marcinkowski. Bjerke, who also clinched the MAAC semi-finals match against Fairfield, defeated Adamus in three sets, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to secure the win for the Red Foxes. Giudici fell to Vieira in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
Texas enters the NCAA Tournament as the ninth overall seed with a record of 20-5. The Longhorns earned a share of the Big 12 Regular Seson title and earned the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament. Texas fell to third-seeded Oklahoma in the semi-finals, 4-0.
Scouting the Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns are led by two players ranked in the top-100 in the most recent ITA National Singles’ Rankings. Soren Hess-Olesen (#16), the 2014 Big 12 Player of the Year, finished the season 25-6 overall in singles and 23-13 in doubles action. Hess-Olesen became the first Longhorn in program history to win the Big 12 regular season crown at first singles. He knocked off 12 ranked opponents throughout the course of the year.Hess-Olesen has also been named to the All-Big 12 singles team for three consecutive seasons. Lloyd Glasspool (#40), finished 23-12 overall at singles and posted a 23-12 mark in doubles play. Glasspool joins Hess-Olesen on the All-Big 12 singles team for the second consecutive season. Additionally, George Goldhoff went 20-18 this season, ranking 102nd in the ITA Rankings. He was also named to the All-SEC Second Team and All-Freshman Team.
The doubles pairing of Lloyd Glasspool and Soren Hess-Olesen rank 16th as a pair in the ITA doubles’ rankings finishing the season 21-12 together. Glasspool and Hess-Olesen will be competing in the NCAA doubles draw as partners and the NCAA singles draw as individuals starting May 21 in Athens, Georgia.
Head coach Michael Center was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). He led his ninth ranked Longhorns to a share of the league’s regular season title and back to the national top-10 for the first time since 2012. Texas went 7-3 against top-25 opponents en route to the program’s seventh Big 12 title.
Marist This Season
In 2013-14, Marist has gone a combined 125-67 (.651) in singles’ play and 53-39 (.576) at doubles. All six primary singles players for Marist have reached double-digit wins; Lorenzo Rossi (#1) 13-13, Dalen Klassen (#2) 15-11, Will Reznek (#3) 16-8, Joseph Dube (#4) 18-9, Fredrik Bjerke (#5) 17-7, and Matteo Giudici (#6) 16-5. Overall, the projected starting singles’ lineup for the Red Foxes holds an overall singles record of 95-53 (.641).
Marist’s doubles’ play has seen another successful year. The primary pairings of Lorenzo Rossi/Will Reznek (#1) 10-11, Dalen Klassen/Trym Nagelstad (#2) 11-9, and Dylan Fletcher/Matteo Giudici (#3) 14-5 have a combined record of 35-25 this season.
Marist captured the program’s 11th MAAC Championship, sixth straight MAAC Regular Season crown, and fifth straight undefetead season in conference play. This year’s Marist roster holds three former MAAC Players of the Year (Dalen Klassen – 2012-13, Lorenzo Rossi – 2011-12, 2010-11) and past three MAAC Rookies of the Year (Fredrik Bjerke – 2012-13; Joseph Dube – 2011-12; Lorenzo Rossi – 2010-11). This year, all of Marist’s starting line-up was named to an All-MAAC Team for either singles or doubles. Fredrik Bjerke clinched both the semi-final and final match in the MAAC Tournament for the Red Foxes. Joseph Dube was named the MAAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player after completing the weekend 3-0.