Tulsa Men's Tennis Begins Season with a Double-Header on Thursday
Jan. 13, 2010
Tulsa, Okla. - The University of Tulsa men's tennis team begins the duel season with four matches this week at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
The Hurricane faces Arkansas-Pine Bluff and cross-town rival Oral Roberts in a season-opening double-header on Thursday, January 14th. Tulsa plays Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 1:00 p.m., followed by Oral Roberts at 6:00 p.m. They then take on C-USA foe SMU on Friday, January 15th at 6:00 p.m., and wrap up the weekend against 40th-ranked California on Sunday, January 17th at 1:00 p.m.
Tulsa brings back six letterwinners including two all-conference performers in senior Philip Stephens and sophomore Ashley Watling. The Hurricane also returns seniors Marko Ballok and Albert Jou, and sophomores Patrick Collins and Rusty Turpin.
A talented incoming freshmen class could make an immediate impact this season with the addition of accomplished international players Marcelo Arevalo, Alastair Barnes and Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson.
The most difficult task for Tulsa will be replacing the production of four-time All-American Arnau Brugues, who graduated after setting several conference and school records in his four seasons with the Golden Hurricane.
Senior Philip Stephens will captain the team this year after turning in an excellent 2008-09 campaign after transferring from Fairleigh Dickinson University prior to the start of last year's campaign. He was named Conference USA Newcomer of the Year, first-team all-C-USA and was an all-C-USA doubles team selection.
Stephens compiled an 18-14 singles record, including five wins against nationally-ranked opponents and was ranked as high as No. 86 in the ITA national singles poll. He also went 29-12 in doubles, teaming up with Arnau Brugues to finish second in doubles at the 2008 D'Novo ITA All-American Championship en route to earning a season-high No. 3 national doubles ranking from the ITA.
Stephens had a solid fall season going 5-3 in singles and 5-4 in doubles. He partnered with sophomore Ashley Watling to finish second in doubles at the Wilson/ITA Central Region Championship.
Watling had a breakout fall campaign advancing to the singles quarterfinal of the D'Novo ITA All-American Championship, and to the doubles final with Philip Stephens at the Wilson/ITA Regional. He begins the spring season as the 21st-ranked singles player in the nation after posting a 6-3 singles record, including two victories over nationally-ranked opponents this fall.
The Ipswich, England native had an impressive freshman season, going 19-5 in singles and 19-10 in doubles while earning second-team all-C-USA honors.
Senior Marko Ballok had a solid junior season going 15-13 in singles and 12-9 in doubles action. Ballok compiled a 3-0 record in No. 3 singles and 4-0 in the No. 4 position last year. He also went 6-1 with partner Arnau Brugues in No. 3 doubles.
Sophomore Rusty Turpin led the team in singles wins this fall, finishing the semester with a 7-4 record. Last year, Turpin earned a 6-7 singles mark and an 11-5 doubles record. Turpin and doubles partner Patrick Collins compiled an 8-4 record, including a 6-1 mark during the duel season.
Sophomore Patrick Collins played sparingly last season, finishing the year with a 5-4 singles mark and 8-4 doubles record. Collins and Turpin tied for the second-most doubles victories on the team last year with eight wins.
The Tulsa, Okla. native had a solid fall season, matching his singles win total from last year with a 5-5 record during the fall.
Senior Albert Jou also saw limited action last season, finishing the year with a 3-6 singles record and a 1-3 doubles mark. This fall, Jou went 1-2 in singles picking up his only win in the first round of qualifying singles at the Wilson/ITA Regional.
Tulsa welcomes a talented incoming freshman class that could have an immediate impact this season.
Alastair Barnes joins the team from Bournemouth, England, where he enjoyed a stellar juniors career earning a 53-40 singles record and a career-high combined ranking of No. 62 from the ITF. He was also ranked as the No. 1 junior player in England.
Barnes had a solid fall campaign, posting a 4-5 singles and a 2-4 doubles record.
Marcelo Arevalo comes to Tulsa from San Salvador, El Salvador, where he established himself as one of the best junior players in the World in addition to becoming one of the fastest rising players on the men's circuit.
Arevalo earned a No. 8 juniors world ranking from the ITF after compiling a 65-39 singles record and a 60-35 doubles mark. He was also recently ranked as high as No. 459 in the ATP singles rankings.
Grant Ive joins the squad from Johannesburg, South Africa where he was a three-time South African National Champion and was ranked as the No. 49 juniors player in the World with a career 67-41 singles record.
Tristan Jackson comes from Australia where he earned a career-high combined juniors ranking of No. 434 from the ITF and a top-five national ranking after compiling a 16-14 singles record and an 11-14 doubles mark.
The Golden Hurricane once again faces a difficult 26-match schedule, which includes 19 contests against teams ranked in the first ITA national team poll of the season. The slate features 16 home matches with 10 coming against nationally-ranked opposition. Tulsa plays host to Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, California and Arkansas this season.
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