Freshman Andre Feliz and the Aztecs take on Cal Poly, Yale and Princeton at home this week.
March 12, 2008
SAN DIEGO -
SDSU Men's Tennis Weekly Release in PDF Format
SDSU MEN'S TENNIS OPENS THREE-MATCH HOMESTAND THIS WEEK
* The 56th-ranked San Diego State men's tennis team returns to the friendly environs of Montezuma Mesa this week when it takes on three opponents in five days. SDSU kicks off its busy stretch with a clash against Big West Conference member Cal Poly on Thursday, March 13, beginning at 2 p.m. PDT at Aztec Tennis Center.
The Scarlet and Black continues its homestand on Sunday, March 16, when it entertains Yale in a noon showdown, while another Ivy League foe, Princeton, invades "America's Finest City" the following day on March 17 for a St. Patrick's Day shootout starting at 1:30 p.m.
SDSU (5-5) experienced mixed results during its road trip to the Inland Northwest last weekend, posting a 7-0 whitewash against the University of Idaho before suffering a 5-1 setback at the hands of Boise State, which played host to both matches.
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS
* Cal Poly is off to a 7-4 start this season and had its four-match winning streak snapped by a narrow 4-3 margin at Brigham Young on March 7. Prior to Thursday's engagement with the Aztecs, the Mustangs will square off against Central Florida on Wednesday in La Jolla, Calif.
Freshman Drew Jacobs has been Cal Poly's top winner so far this season with nine victories in dual-match play, followed by sophomore Robert Foy and junior Darryn Young, who have notched seven wins apiece. Young was recently named the Big West Conference player of the week on March 6 after going unscathed in both doubles and singles in a key victory over league rival UC Santa Barbara.
At the controls for the Mustangs is second-year head coach Justin McGrath, who led Cal Poly to the Big West regular-season title in 2007. Prior to his arrival in San Luis Obispo, McGrath was the head coach for both the men's and women's teams at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2003-06.
SERIES HISTORY VS. CAL POLY
* The Aztecs hold a 6-1 advantage over the Mustangs in the all-time series dating back to 1989. Thursday's clash will be the first between the two teams since 2006, when the SDSU posted a 6-1 victory at Aztec Tennis Center.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
* After competing in just six duals since Feb. 8, Yale (4-2) enters a busy week in which it plays four matches in five days. Prior to Sunday's clash with the Scarlet and Black, the Bulldogs' California adventure also features dates with Loyola Marymount, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine. In addition, Yale will take part in the Boise State Invitational, March 21-23, before returning to the New Haven, Conn., campus.
Juniors Jeff Dawson and Mike Caldwell have both alternated between the top two spots in the Bulldogs' rotation during dual-match competition. Dawson sports a 4-1 record, while Caldwell has compiled a 3-3 mark. Not to be outdone, senior Rory Green has racked up five victories at the No. 3 position.
Alex Dorato is in his 16th season at the helm at Yale and is just the fourth coach in the program's history, which dates back to 1902.
SERIES HISTORY VS. YALE
* The Bulldogs and Aztecs will be meeting for the 12th year in a row as part of Yale's annual spring break excursion to the West Coast. San Diego State has won 9 out of the last 11 encounters between the two schools, including a 5-2 triumph at Aztec Tennis Center in 2007. In that contest, the Scarlet and Black won four of six singles matches after capturing a hard-fought doubles point en route to the victory. SDSU's only losses to Yale since 1997 occured in 2001 and 2002.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
* Princeton (6-3) has been on a roll of late, winning six of seven matches to earn a No. 67 ranking in the latest ITA poll released March 11. Monday's showdown with the Aztecs kicks off a four-match road swing for the Tigers, who will also engage Utah, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine on its spring break visit to the Golden State.
Leading the Princeton attack is sophomore George Carpeni, who owns a 6-2 mark in dual matches at both the second and third positions. The top half of the Tigers' singles rotation also includes juniors Peter Capkovic (3-4) and Alex Krueger-Wyman (5-3). Capkovic has played exclusively at No. 1 this season, while Krueger-Wyman has seen action at all three top spots.
Princeton is coached by seventh-year boss Glenn Michibata, who was a member of 14 Davis Cup teams in his native Canada and competed in several Grand Slam events.
SERIES HISTORY VS. PRINCETON
* The Aztecs have never lost to the Tigers in seven meetings dating back to 1989. The two squads locked horns last year at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club in nearby Rancho Santa Fe, with San Diego State prevailing by a 6-1 margin. After the Tigers captured all three matches in a hotly contested doubles round, the Aztecs returned the favor by sweeping singles competition to win going away.
* Following this week's homestand, the Aztecs will make the short drive down Interstate 8 for a clash with cross-town rival San Diego on Wednesday, March 19, at USD's West Courts. The Aztecs will then have a week off before traveling up the coast to face Harvard (March 28) and UCSB (March 29) in Santa Barbara.
* The Aztecs are 37-14 (.720 percent) in neutral-site matches since 2002, including a 3-0 mark this season. SDSU opened the 2008 campaign with a 7-0 blanking of UC Riverside at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Jan. 20, followed by a 5-2 victory over Minnesota, in Tucson, Ariz., on Feb. 16. The Scarlet and and Black also dusted off Idaho, 7-0, at Boise State's home venue on March 7. Since 1989, SDSU has only had three seasons (1994, 1997, 2001) in which it posted a losing record on neutral courts.
YOUTH SHALL BE SERVED IN `08
* After losing four seniors off its 2007 roster, including Mountain West Conference player of the year Markus Dickhardt and all-MWC performer Christian Groh, San Diego State has taken on a decidedly youthful appearance this season. The Aztecs possess just one junior on this year's squad to go along with five sophomores and four freshmen (one redshirt). While growing pains are to be expected, success has not eluded this youthful bunch either. After garnering MWC freshman of the year honors in 2007, Achim Ceban teamed with Bartosz Golas to capture the doubles crown at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic in January at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Ceban also reached the singles final at the NCTC, while Golas was named MWC player of week for his efforts in both the tournament and the season opener against UC Riverside.
NEWCOMERS STARTING TO SHINE
* Freshman Andre Feliz is enjoying a tremendous rookie campaign thus far in 2008, leading the Scarlet and Black with an 9-6 overall record in singles play, including a 7-3 mark in dual matches. Fellow classmate Danny Heidecker has also come on strong of late, winning four out of his last five encounters. Meanwhile, sophomore Jordan Colman was triumphant in his first-ever Division I singles match last weekend after knocking off Idaho's Andrew Hobbs, 6-3, 6-3. The transfer from Cabrillo College has also won his last three doubles matches at the No. 3 spot, teaming with Achim Ceban and freshman Tim Schulz van Endert.
LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT COMBINATION
* Speaking of Colman and Schulz van Endert, when the two players joined forces against Idaho on March 7, it marked the 16th different doubles tandem utilized by head coach Gene Carswell this season. However, that figure should not seem surprising. After all, SDSU employed 21 different pairings last year, even with a veteran cast.
CARSWELL IN CHARGE
* Gene Carswell is in his 10th season at San Diego State and fifth as head coach of the Scarlet and Black. In four-plus seasons at the helm, the Aztecs' mentor has guided SDSU to three straight Mountain West Conference regular-season titles, while compiling an overall record of 64-36 (.640) in the process. In each of the past three years, the native San Diegan has taken home MWC coach of the year accolades, leading San Diego State to a 17-0 league mark during that stretch. Prior to his present duties, Carswell was an Aztec assistant for five years from 1998-2003, earning a pair of ITA regional assistant coach of the year honors in 2001 and 2003.