Jan. 11, 2009
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -
Senior Michael Jung and sophomore Trey Walston each picked up wins against No. 2 Texas in singles on Sunday at the Key Biscayne Invitational. No. 23 Alabama finished the tournament with nine total wins including seven in singles and two in doubles.
"I thought we had a decent weekend and hit the ball well in spots," said head coach Billy Pate. "Since the team returned from the break and almost immediately departed for this trip, I think we lost a bit of preparation and didn't demonstrate the level of fitness and toughness we would normally see. That was probably a bit of a factor with fatigue and injuries, but it was good to see this type of great competition early in January."
Jung edged out Longhorn junior Joe Wiegand 7-6, 7-6 to earn one of two wins for the Crimson Tide on Sunday. Alabama's other win came from Walston who defeated junior Rook Schellenberg 6-1, 7-5. The Tide fielded an additional seven players in singles against Texas, and two of those seven matches went to a decisive third set. Junior Saketh Myneni faced off with No. 31 Dimitar Kutrovsky and won the first set 6-4, but the Longhorn junior came back to take sets two and three 6-1, 6-1. Junior Houssam Yassine also played to three sets against senior Jonah Kane-West. Yassine took the first frame 6-3 before slipping in the final two sets 6-2, 6-3. Senior Billy Mertz lost 6-3, 6-4 to sophomore Kellen Damico, and freshman Michael Thompson fell 6-2, 6-4 to sophomore Ed Corrie. Senior Dan Buikema matched up with Texas senior Miguel Reyes Varela where Reyes Varela won 6-3, 6-1. Freshman John Lewis lost a close two-setter against junior Josh Zavala with a final score of 7-5, 6-4, while senior Andrew Felsenthal also fell in a close match to No. 84 junior Olivier Sajous 6-4, 7-6.
"Michael Thompson had a solid debut for us in winning his first two singles matches," added Pate. "(Billy) Mertz is continuing to come along from his medical redshirt and just needs a few more matches to be back to his old form. We'll get a chance to see a few guys in action next week in Lexington before we start the dual match season on Jan. 24."
Alabama will hit the road again next weekend for the SEC Indoor Tournament Jan. 16-19. The Tide's first home event of the spring will take place on Saturday, Jan. 24 when it hosts a double header against Troy at 10:00 a.m. (CST) and Furman at 3:00 p.m. (CST).
No. 31 Dimitar Kutrovsky (UT) def. Saketh Myneni (UA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
Kellen Damico (UT) def. No. 115 Billy Mertz (UA) 6-3, 6-4
Ed Corrie def. Michael Thompson (UA) 6-2, 6-4
Miguel Reyes Varela (UA) def. Dan Buikema (UA) 6-3, 6-1
Josh Zavala def. No. 106 John Lewis (UA) 7-5, 6-4
Michael Jung (UA) def. Joe Wiegand (UT) 7-6, 7-6
No. 84 Olivier Sajous (UT) def. Andrew Felsenthal (UA) 6-4, 7-6
Jonah Kane-West (UT) def. Houssam Yassine (UA) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
Trey Walston (UA) def. Rook Schellenberg (UT) 6-1, 7-5