Men's Tennis Opens Play at Atlantic 10 Championship on Friday
April 12, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. - The Fordham University men's tennis squad will open play at the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. when they face the Saint Louis University Billikens in the first round at the at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
The Rams, seeded eighth, will play Saint Louis, the ninth seed, in the first match of the championship. The winner will advance to play top-seeded Charlotte in the quarterfinals on Friday at 2:00 p.m.
Fordham played seven matches against Atlantic 10 opponents this year, going 3-4 in those contests. The Rams defeated La Salle twice (both by 7-0 scores) and St. Bonaventure (6-1) while dropping close matches to Temple and Saint Joseph's (both by a 4-3 score) and falling to Charlotte (7-0) and George Washington (5-2).
"I am very excited about the opportunity our team has in the tournament," said head coach Cory Hubbard. "This year the A-10 is so deep and there are probably eight teams that have a chance to win the tournament, and we are realistically one of those teams. Although, we hoped to be a top four seed, we came up a few points short in our match with Temple, and Saint Joseph's, which would have put us in the top four."
The Rams, who will be looking for their first win at the Atlantic 10 Championships since 2006, will be led into the championship by number one singles player, sophomore Kuba Kowalski, who has compiled a 20-8 singles record, 18-4 at first singles, so far in 2011-12.
"It will be a tough match with Saint Louis, who plays very good doubles and is an experienced team." said Hubbard. "We will have to play with a lot of heart and energy in each match if we want to advance. I know we are a scary team in the draw, and a lot of teams were hoping to see us on the other half of the draw. So we should come in with the belief and confidence that we can beat any team we play if we compete and play together as a team. I know our guys would love the opportunity to play Charlotte again, because we were right there with the last four matches at 4-4 in third set. But we have to be focused on Saint Louis and be ready to compete and take care of business in the first round. I think our last match against Fairfield, gave our team a much needed boost and confidence. Fairfield was nationally ranked earlier in the season, and was our first real signature win against a tough team. We switched up the doubles lineup, and it seems to have energized our team and given us new hope. This weekend is what we have worked all year for, and I am so proud of the way our team has competed all year. If we play with more heart and mind, and have the most energy of any team in the tournament, then I will be happy and let the results take care of themselves. This has been a historic year for Fordham tennis, so we are hoping to cap it off with a historic achievement. All year long, our mantra has been to make history this year, which we are just three wins away from setting a school record. We have been talking about going worst to first in one year, so the time is now."