Feb. 13, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The 20th-ranked Vanderbilt men's tennis team is set for a date with No. 18 Memphis, this Friday at 2 p.m. The Commodores welcome the Tigers to the Currey Tennis Center as they close out their eight-match home stand.
Vanderbilt (6-1) is riding a four-match win streak after defeating both Middle Tennessee and Lipscomb in last Sunday's doubleheader. The Commodores lone loss of the season came against then-ranked No. 20 Texas in the first round of the ITA Kickoff weekend.
Memphis (3-1) comes into Nashville also off a dominating doubleheader sweep, winning 7-0 over both Chattanooga and Murray State. The 18th-ranked Tigers will be the highest ranked team the Commodores have faced in this young season. Vanderbilt is 2-1 against teams in the top 30, and 0-1 against teams in the top 20.
The Tigers will welcome back one of their top players this weekend in senior David O'Hare. O'Hare missed the last two Memphis matches, as he was competing for Ireland's Davis Cup. He will be reunited with doubles partner Joe Salisbury, who together make up the 8th-ranked doubles team in the country.
O'Hare and Salisbury lead the Tigers in doubles, which over the last 14 matches have been their specialty. Memphis has won 14 consecutive doubles points dating back to last season, and it will put that streak on the line Friday.
The Commodores also feature one of the nations best doubles teams in Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman, who come in this week ranked No. 6 by the ITA. The Vandy duo is 14-3 overall and 4-1 in dual play, their lone loss came against 5th-ranked Soren Hess-Olesen and Lloyd Glasspool of Texas.
Austin remains Vandy's highest ranked singles player after the release of Tuesday's new rankings. The junior from Miami dropped one spot to No. 10, despite a perfect 4-0 record in dual play.
Vanderbilt's only other ranked player is sophomore Rhys Johnson, who fell to No. 82, after starting the dual season 3-3.
Following Friday's match with the Tigers, the Commodores will hit the road for four-straight matches, including the SEC opener on February 28.