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    March 23, 2012

    CHICAGO – The UIC men’s tennis team (2-9) gets set to welcome in Wright State and Butler this weekend in a pair of matches to kick off Horizon League competition.  The Flames face the Raiders on Saturday at 7 p.m. (CT) and take on the Bulldogs on Sunday at 7 p.m. (CT).  Weather permitting, the teams will play at the Flames Outdoor Tennis Courts following the women’s matches or move to the Hinsdale Racquet Club in Hinsdale, Ill.

    UIC is returning to competition after enduring a three-day stretch of three matches in two different states.  On March 17, the Flames went up against Wisconsin in Madison, Wisc., but fell in a 7-0 decision.  They then traveled to Texas to take on Prairie View A&M and SMU in Dallas.  While they were able to come away with a 5-1 victory over the Panthers, they dropped their match to the Mustangs, 7-0.

    Through doubles matches, the lone win for UIC came from the tandem of Maurizio Feoli and Alan Reifer.  They competed at No. 3 against SMU’s pairing of Robert Sajovich and Joseph Hattrup.  They ultimately dropped the doubles point against the Mustangs and the Badgers, but did not compete in doubles against the Panthers due to a delayed start.

    Retiring in straight set singles against Wisconsin and SMU, they in turn took out their respective opponents from Prairie View A&M in two-set matches.  Reaching 6-4, 6-3 finals, James Li captured the win at No. 2 over Kristen Powell, while Nate Kirk went up at No. 5 to defeat David Aldaz.  Each taking a set to a tiebreaker, Reifer (No. 3) downed Juan Pablo Robles, 7-6 (4), 7-5, Feoli (No. 4) took down Trenton Johnson, 7-6 (5), 6-0, and Rahul Kamath (No. 6) came away with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Jonathan Dingle.

    Wright State currently leads the League with its 11-2 overall record, while Butler is at the bottom of the spectrum with 1-13.  The Raiders have won their last 10 matches, including their most recent win on March 11 over Robert Morris, 6-1.  The Bulldogs are on a three-game losing streak, going down in their last match on March 3 against Indiana, 7-0, while they captured their lone win on the season on Feb. 24 against Bradley, 4-3.

    Over the past five seasons, the Flames have gone 4-1 against Wright State, with the loss coming last season in a 4-3 decision.  They have additionally gone 4-1 against Butler, taking the last four straight, with last year’s win of 6-1.