Oct. 31, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The men's tennis team continued to rack up wins Saturday at the Crimson Tide Fall Championships where the home team finished day two of the tournament with 11 wins. Six of the victories came in doubles play, while the remaining five were secured in singles matches which sent the Alabama netters to the finals of their respective draws.
"This was another solid day for our team," said head coach Billy Pate. "I feel like we are really playing well right now, especially in doubles. My hope is that we continue to finish strong tomorrow and collect some more wins."
Although the weather pushed back the start time of play, the Tide was still able to get in a total of 14 matches on the day. In doubles, each of the three Alabama pairs picked up wins in its opening round match. In the Crimson draw, sophomores Ricky Doverspike and Michael Thompson picked up a pair of 8-5 wins, first against Vanderbilt sophomore Alex Divalerio and junior Alex Zotov followed by freshman Rodrigo Rappaccioli and sophomore Shaye Wali of Tulane, to advance to the semifinal round where the Tide team will take on the tournament's No. 1 seed in Tennessee junior J.P. Smith and senior Davey Sandgren. Alabama senior Houssam Yassine and junior Trey Walston earned an 8-2 win over Tennessee Tech sophomore Alex Chen and freshman Oscar Pachon before falling 8-5 in the quarterfinal round to UAB junior Tyrone Ewels and sophomore Daniel Moser.
In the doubles White draw, sophomores Creighton Blanchard and Michael Davis won a trio of matches on the day to earn a spot in the semifinal round. First up, Blanchard and Davis put up an 8-2 victory over UAB senior Dan Cornei and senior Tommy Petrich. Next up for the Tide tandem was Chattanooga freshman Stephen Crofford and sophomore Sam Parfitt where Blanchard and Davis came out on top 8-5. In the day's final match to finish, Blanchard and Davis picked up a hard-fought 9-7 win over Volunteer redshirt freshmen Matt Brewer and Taylor Patrick, where, in the final game, Davis served a trio of aces to help the Alabama team to victory.
In singles, Doverspike, Davis, Thompson and Blanchard will each be playing in his respective draw finals on Sunday. Doverspike, who is competing in the back Bryant draw, dropped his first set 6-4 to Southern Mississippi freshman, and the tournament's No. 2 seed, Patricio Alvarado, before earning 7-6(1), 6-2 wins in the last two sets to take the match. In the Namath draw, Davis defeated the Commodores' Divalerio 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 to advance to the main draw finals. Thompson, whose Friday match was suspended due to rain, was the only Alabama player to compete in two singles events on Saturday. First up, the Tide sophomore took down Tennessee redshirt freshman Max Stevens 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 before knocking off UAB senior Alex Emery in the semifinals. Also picking up a singles win for Alabama was Blanchard, who will play in the main draw finals of the Musso draw with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Vanderbilt junior Andy Pulido.
In addition for Alabama, Walston and freshman Harris Barnard competed in singles matches where the two fell in the semifinals. Walston dropped a close 7-6, 6-4 decision to Tulane freshman Adam Bernstein, while Barnard was tripped up by Tennessee Tech junior Mario Gutierrez 6-3, 7-5.
"The tournament has helped our guys to gain some confidence," added Pate. "We've had a rough fall schedule with the weather being so bad, so getting wins this weekend is definitely going to help us in building that confidence."
Play resumes Sunday at 9:00 a.m. (CST) with the singles finals and will be followed by the remaining doubles semifinals and finals.
Doverspike/Thompson (UA) def. Divalerio/Zotov (VU) 8-5
Doverspike/Thompson (UA) def. Rappacciolo/Wali (TU) 8-5
Walston/Yassine (UA) def. Chen/Pachon (TTU) 8-2
Ewels/Moser (UAB) def. Walston/Yassine (UA) 8-5
Blanchard/Davis (UA) def. Cornei/Petrich (UAB) 8-2
Blanchard/Davis (UA) def. Crofford/Parfitt (UTC) 8-5
Blanchard/Davis (UA) def. Brewer/Patrick (UT) 8-3
Ricky Doverspike (UA) def. Patricio Alvarado (USM) 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-2
Michael Davis (UA) def. Alex Divalerio (VU) 7-6, 5-7, 6-4
Michael Thompson (UA) def. Max Stevens (UT) 6-7, 6-2, 6-3
Michael Thompson (UA) def. Alex Emery (UAB) 6-0, 6-4
Adam Bernstein (TU) def. Trey Walston (UA) 7-6, 6-4
Mario Gutierrez (TTU) def. Harris Barnard (UA) 6-3, 7-5
Creighton Blanchard (UA) def. Andy Pulido (VU) 6-3, 6-3