March 30, 2012
CHICAGO – The UIC men’s tennis team (2-11/0-2 HL) heads to Green Bay, Wisc., to face the Phoenix (11-5/0-0 HL) on Saturday as they continue Horizon League play. Competition is set to get underway at 2 p.m. (CT) at Western Racquet and Fitness Club.
The Flames head into competition after beginning conference play on March 24-25 against Wright State and Butler. While the team was persistent and made great effort against their opponents, they fell to the Raiders, 6-1, and Buter, 5-2.
In doubles play, UIC came away with four wins. Against Wright State, Alan Reifer and Maurizio Feoli captured the win with their 8-4 final at No. 3, while Alexander Raa and Rahul Kamath (No. 1) dropped 8-4 and Nate Kirk and Scott Shepardson (No. 2) went down 8-5.
Going up against Butler, the Flames swept the Bulldogs at all three positions. Raa and Kamath dominated at No. 1 with their 8-1 win, Feoli and Reifer claimed No. 2 in 8-6 and Kirk and Shepardson took down their opponents, 8-2, at No. 3.
Through singles matches, James Li and Kamath came away with the wins for UIC. Li defeated Hayden Joblin, 6-4, 6-0, at No. 2, as Feoli (No. 4), Kirk (No. 5) and Kamath (No. 6) each went to three sets before falling to their respective opponents of Michal Lyzwa (1-6, 6-4, 6-2), Jamison Clark (3-6, 6-3, 7-5) and Ricardo Peneda (6-7, 6-4, 6-2).
In competing against the Bulldogs, Kamath captured the win with a 6-3, 6-3 final over Sam O’Neill at No. 6. Reifer (No. 3) came back in his second set with Pulok Bhattacharya, but ultimately fell in third with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Kirk (No. 5) also went to three sets after taking his first, and took the third to a tiebreaker, but ultimately dropped the match to Billy Weldon, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7).
Green Bay faces its first set of Horizon League matches this season when they meet with the Flames on Saturday and Valparaiso on Sunday. They currently hold an 11-5 record, splitting their last pair of matches with a 6-1 win over UMKC and a 7-0 loss to nationally-ranked No. 45 Drake on March 24-25, respectively.
The Flames and the Phoenix are split in their series over the past 10 seasons, each going 5-5. UIC had won five straight before dropping the last two in 5-2 decisions.