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(1) Illinois, (2) North Carolina, (3) Tulsa, (4) Tennessee

On paper this event looks to be the toughest of them all as all four teams land inside the Top 25 in the ITA Men’s College Tennis Rankings.  This site will more than likely feature the most competitive team matches of all the sites during ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

Illinois will have a new look this year with Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich both gone, leaving the top two spots in the singles lineup vacant.  The Fighting Illini will turn to Tim Kopinski to fill the void at first singles after recording a 10-5 record in the fall.  The Tennessee Volunteers will look upset Illinois on the Illini’s home courts in the first round behind No. 9 Mikelis Libietis.  Tennessee also returns five of their six starters from 2012 and with the addition of transfer John Collins, the Volunteers will look to build on last year’s success.  

A win by Tennessee along with a win by North Carolina would set up a rematch of last year’s NCAA Second Round match.  The Tar Heels are looking strong again this year as they feature their top four singles players in the Top 110 as well as a doubles team in the Top 50.  Esben Hess-Olesen is North Carolina’s top guy, recording a 10-5 record and a No. 18 ranking.  

North Carolina will not have a cakewalk to the finals by any means as they square off against No. 17 Tulsa.  The Golden Hurricane have five of their six starters back this year including their No. 1 singles player Japie De Klerk  who is 34th in the nation. De Klerk is joined in the national spotlight by Alejandro Espejo who will be playing No. 3 for Tulsa and is ranked 69th.  

Schedule of Play:

Fri, Jan 25– #18 North Carolina def. #24 Tulsa, 4-3
Fri, Jan 25– #19 Tennessee def. #16 Illinois, 4-0
Sat, Jan 26– #24 Tulsa def. #16 Illinois, 4-2
Sat, Jan 26– #19 Tennessee def. #18 North Carolina, 4-1

advances to ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship

Surface: Indoors (AtkinsTennis Center)
# of Courts: 6

Practice Courts

Teams 1 and 4 practice Thursday 4:00-5:30
Teams 2 and 3 practice Thursday 2:30-4:00
Friday as needed.

  Tennessee's Mikelis Libietis