Men’s Tennis Sets to Rise Higher in NCAA Rankings Against Ivy Competitors

Tulane+mens+tennis+team+stands+by+the+sidelines+during+a+break+in+match+play.+The+Wave+hopes+to+rebound+after+a+4-3+loss+against+USC+on+Jan.+23%2C+and+will+take+on+Harvard+and+Dartmouth+this+weekend.

Tulane men’s tennis team stands by the sidelines during a break in match play. The Wave hopes to rebound after a 4-3 loss against USC on Jan. 23, and will take on Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend.

Samantha Shafia, Associate Sports Editor

While No. 33 Harvard and No. 42 Dartmouth might possess the brains, the No. 32 Tulane men’s tennis team has the brawn and confidence to surpass these Ivy League competitors in its own indoor courts this weekend.

Due to the successful weekend that the wave experienced in sunny Southern California, the men’s team has never felt more confident. Tulane defeated previously ranked 33 Pepperdine (4-0) and nearly took down No. 8 USC (4-3).

“We won four of six first sets in singles,” head coach Mark Booras said. “We had a really good chance to close [USC] out, but, unfortunately … USC came back on us, pushed us all the way to third set and basically won in the last second.”

Due to the successful time spent in Southern California, the Green Wave jumped from No. 37 to No. 32 in just one week.

While it may be running off the energy from last weekend’s success, Tulane’s duels against Harvard and Dartmouth will by no means be an easy feat. Despite the difficult challenge the team is soon facing, the confidence the Green Wave has developed based on its performance level against with a difficult schedule consisting of at least one top team a week has let the Green Wave create a foundation upon which it can compete with any team in the nation.

“This year we tried to schedule a much tougher schedule, so we have 16 teams out of 20 that are ranked in the top 40 or 50 in the nation,” Booras said. “But the biggest thing is that we are continuing to build that confidence by having that experience of playing the top teams every week in and out.”

This week is no exception to that tough schedule. Both Harvard and Dartmouth are ranked below Tulane this week. As of Jan. 5, however, Harvard has three top 50 ranked doubles teams and No. 71 ranked senior Nicky Hu on its 2015-16 roster.

Though Dartmouth does not have a ranked doubles duo, the team does have No. 18 ranked senior Dovydas Sakinis who won the 2015 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

“Both Harvard and Dartmouth have ranked players,” senior Dominik Koepfer said. “Harvard has one of them that I think is ranked top 20. The other guy, I have never played him before, but I think he is ranked too, in like the 60s or 70s, so they will be good matches.” 

Tulane will continue to fight through the tough games and continue to strive to move up through the rankings just as it has done in the past.

“We’re just trying to win both,” sophomore Constantin Schmitz said. “[These] are two other good matches that can help us boost our confidence and boost our rankings.”

With the combinations of the invincible singles like No. 1 senior Dominik Koepfer and the dynamic duos of doubles and the tenacity that this team shows at every game, the Tulane team will be a force to be reckoned with and will continue to rise in the national rankings weekend in Hanover, New Hampshire and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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