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Tulsa Opens Spring Campaign With No. 14 California

Senior Ashley Watling begins his final spring campaign this weekend
Senior Ashley Watling begins his final spring campaign this weekend
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Jan. 11, 2012

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TULSA, Okla. - The University of Tulsa men's tennis team will kickoff the 2012 spring campaign with a tough test inside Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The Golden Hurricane will begin the season at 6 p.m. Jan. 13 against No. 14 California.

Tulsa coach Vince Westbrook owns a 2-3 record against the Golden Bears. California has one ranked singles player (No. 42 Ben McLachlan) and two ranked doubles teams (No. 5 Christoffer Konigsfeldt/Nick Andrews and No. 27 Carlos Cueto/McLachlan).

TREACHEROUS SLATE AWAITS GOLDEN HURRICANE
Tulsa will be tested early and often by one of the most difficult schedules in the nation. The Golden Hurricane earned a preseason ITA national rank of No. 23, and the team will face at least 13 schools ranked inside the top 30 in the preseason rankings. Also on the docket are nine top-20 schools and three top-10 schools (No. 5 Baylor, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Kentucky) according to the preseason rankings. Eight top-30 schools will visit the Michael D. Case Tennis Center this season. Tulsa posted a 10-8 record against ranked opponents last year.

TULSA EARNS NO. 23 PRESEASON RANK, DOUBLES TANDEM TIES SCHOOL RECORD AT NO. 3
The University of Tulsa will begin the 2012 spring campaign as the No. 23-ranked team in the nation, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings released January 3. Senior Ashley Watling and junior Clifford Marsland earned a doubles rank of No. 3, which tied Arnau Brugues and Philip Stephens (twice in 2009) for the highest doubles mark in school history. Juniors Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson also earned a career-high doubles rank of No. 37, while Watling (83) and Ive (88) were both ranked in singles.

WATLING, MARSLAND FINISH RUNNER UP AT NATIONAL INDOORS
Senior Ashley Watling and junior Clifford Marsland advanced to the championship match of the 2011 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Doubles Championship in Flushing, N.Y., at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The two members of the Golden Hurricane opened the national tournament with an 8-4 victory over Nikola Bubnic and Thibaut Visy of San Diego, and the tandem advanced to the semifinals after defeating No. 33 Shaun Bernstein and Evan King of Michigan 8-6. Watling and Marsland defeated No. 36 Nassim Slilam and Billy Federhofer 6-3, 7-5 in the semis before falling to No. 3 Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the championship match.

WATLING, MARSLAND CLAIM USTA/ITA CENTRAL REGION DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP
The No. 4 doubles team in the nation of senior Ashley Watling and junior Clifford Marsland won all five matches en route to the 2011 USTA/ITA Men's Doubles Central Region Championship. The top seed rolled to the fourth title for a Tulsa doubles team in school history and the first since 2006. They dropped Minnesota's No. 22-ranked tandem of Julian Dehn and Rok Bonin 8-2 in the semifinals. They claimed the title with a 9-7 triumph over No. 13 Benedikt Lindheim and Christopher Aumueller of Nebraska. Marsland also reached the quarterfinals of the singles tournament, while Watling and junior Grant Ive advanced to the Round of 16.

DOUBLES PAIRS SHINE AT ITA ALL-AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Two doubles teams for TU had stellar performances at the 2011 ITA Men's All-American Tennis Championships that was hosted by the Golden Hurricane Oct. 1-9. The No. 4-ranked doubles team of senior Ashley Watling and junior Clifford Marsland reached the Round of 16 and the junior tandem of Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson upset the No. 5-ranked duo of California's Nick Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt in the opening round. Watling also won a match in the singles Main Draw.

TULSA MEN'S TENNIS ENDS YEAR WITH FIRST TRIP TO ROUND OF 16
The University of Tulsa reached the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship Round of 16 for the first time in school history in 2011, and the Golden Hurricane fell 4-0 to No. 4 Ohio State at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif. TU was the lowest-ranked team that advanced to the Round of 16 and was only one of two unseeded teams to reach that plateau (No. 17 Illinois). The Golden Hurricane lost the doubles point and fell at No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6 singles.

GOLDEN HURRICANE ADVANCES TO FIRST ROUND OF 16 IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Tulsa upset two Big 12 schools on back-to-back days to reach the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship Round of 16 for the first time in school history. The Golden Hurricane upset No. 20 Oklahoma (Big 12 runners-up) in the first round on the strength of three singles victories and the doubles point. The No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams picked up wins, and juniors Marcelo Arevalo, Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson led TU to victory in singles action. Tulsa won the doubles point over Texas when senior Ashley Watling and junior Clifford Marsland won at No. 1, and Arevalo and sophomore Japie De Klerk won at No. 2. The Golden Hurricane jumped ahead 3-1 when Arevalo and Marsland won their singles matches, but the Longhorns knotted the match at 3-3. Ive sealed the victory for Tulsa when he won at the fifth position.

TULSA WINS FIFTH C-USA CHAMPIONSHIP IN LAST SIX YEARS
Tulsa swept the Conference USA Championship with three 4-0 victories to claim its fifth league crown in the last six years. The Golden Hurricane defeated East Carolina, Memphis and Rice en route to a conference title. This marked just the second time in conference history that a team won the championship without conceding a point (Tulsa, 2007). Senior Ashley Watling was named the Outstanding Singles Player of the Championship, while Watling and junior Clifford Marsland were named the Outstanding Doubles Team of the Championship.

FOUR TULSA ATHLETES COMPETED IN NCAA SINGLES, DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS
Four members of the TU men's tennis team were selected to the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships. Sophomore Marcelo Arevalo earned Conference USA's automatic bid into the 64-player singles field by way of being the highest-ranked player in the league at No. 27, and he made his second-straight appearance. He played just two games against No. 5 Michael Shabaz before defaulting. Freshman Japie De Klerk was originally the fourth alternate and was selected as the last player in the field. The No. 62-ranked player went up against No. 7 Alexandre Lacroix of Florida and nearly pulled off the upset, falling 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The No. 24-ranked doubles duo of junior Ashley Watling and sophomore Clifford Marsland grabbed C-USA's automatic bid into the field of 32 doubles teams and fell one win shy of earning All-American status. They won their opening-round match with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over the No. 16-ranked pair of Dean Jackson and Patrick Pohlmann of San Diego, and the Tulsa tandem lost 7-5, 6-1 to the No. 3-ranked duo of Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher of Stanford, who went on to capture second place in the tournament.

CONFERENCE USA POSTSEASON AWARDS ANNOUNCED
TU dominated the 2011 Conference USA postseason awards as the Golden Hurricane nearly swept the specialty awards and had four student-athletes named to the All-Conference USA Singles First Team. The four selections to the first team by one school has never been done before in league history. Senior Ashley Watling, juniors Marcelo Arevalo and Clifford Marsland, and sophomore Japie De Klerk were all named to the All-Conference USA Singles First Team. Watling and Marsland were also named to the All-Conference USA Doubles First Team, and Arevalo and De Klerk landed on the All-Conference USA Doubles Second Team. Arevalo was named the Conference USA Player of the Year, and De Klerk was named the Freshman of the Year.

GOLDEN HURRICANE DOMINATE CONFERENCE USA MEN'S TENNIS ATHLETE OF WEEK HONORS
The C-USA Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week award should be renamed The University of Tulsa Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week honor after TU dominated the honor last season. Members of the Golden Hurricane captured 11 of the 13 possible weekly honors, which included a streak that saw the Golden Hurricane win the final nine. The overall amount and the streak are both conference records. Junior Marcelo Arevalo picked up four honors (Feb. 1, March 22, March 29, April 12), while both senior Ashley Watling (March 8, March 15, April 19) and sophomore Japie De Klerk (Jan. 25, March 1, April 5) each won the award three times. Junior Clifford Marsland got himself an honor on Feb. 22.

WESTBROOK REACHES 300-WIN PLATEAU
Vince Westbrook earned his 300th-career victory as head coach of The University of Tulsa during last season. He reached the historic milestone with a 4-0 triumph over Oklahoma State April 19 in Stillwater, Okla. Westbrook ended 2011 with a career record of 305-221 in his 20 years at the helm for a .580 win percentage.

DE KLERK EARNS THREE WEEKLY HONORS DURING FIRST SEASON
Sophomore Japie De Klerk was named the Conference USA Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week on three occasions last season. De Klerk started his career with a perfect 19-0 mark in singles and ended the year at 20-6. He also posted a 21-6 doubles record. The duo of De Klerk and junior Marcelo Arevalo were TU's No. 2 doubles team, and the tandem won their first 13 matches together. They ended last season at 17-4.