From SUU ATHLETICS STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION
CEDAR CITY– Southern Utah men’s tennis team will attempt to keep their seven match win streak alive this weekend in Texas against the University of Texas Rio Grande, Prairie View A&M University and Oral Roberts University. This will be the first time the T-Birds have ever competed against these teams.
Opponent Preview: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Last season, Rio Grande Valley went 5-21 overall and is currently 5-8 this year. Coming out with a team of primarily underclassmen, they are balanced with some well-experienced upperclassmen.
Senior Koby Jansen from Australia marked the best record on the team, going 11-10 in the singles competition last season. In the doubles competition, Koby Jansen and Clement Serradin went 6-2 which was the best record for Rio Grande Valley.
UTRGV Athletics hired Dann Nelson as the new men’s tennis head coach on August 1, 2016.
Nelson heads into his second season with UTRGV with a career head coaching record of 164-152-1 (.517) in 16 seasons, including two seasons at Western Illinois (2003-05) and two St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Championship seasons at Westminster (2001-03).
Opponent Preview: Prairie View A&M University
The Prairie View A&M Panthers ended last year with a 5-25 overall record, which was the most wins in program history. The Panthers post a record of four wins and 15 losses to date this season. Coming out with eight total players, six of them are upperclassmen.
Junior Zachary Suico posted the highest record in the singles competition on the team with six wins and four losses.
A native of Barbados, head coach Duane Williams brings a wealth of experience as a player, a coach, and experienced success in both collegiate and international competition. Williams’ tenure with Prairie View A&M included two Southwestern Athletic Conference men’s tennis championships in 2010 and again in 2013.
Opponent Preview: Oral Roberts University
Going 9-12 last season, the Golden Eagles currently report five wins and six losses. Evenly split with five underclassmen and five upperclassmen, Oral Roberts University has a culturally diverse team with players from Brazil, Croatia, Hungary, Italy and Spain.
Kenneth Boykin, a junior from Tulsa, Okla., is the only returning Golden Eagle with a winning record from last season, going 10-8 in the singles competition.
Returning Golden Eagle, Alvaro Santamaria along with former teammate Michael Sosnowski ended the doubles competition record impressively with 13 wins and four losses, which was the best on the team.
Mark Milner began his tenure as the men’s tennis head coach at Oral Roberts on July 18, 2012. Early in his tenure as the Golden Eagles’ head coach, Milner has seen marked improvement each season.The 2015 season saw the Golden Eagles climb above the .500 mark for the first time in recent years after a 12-11 finish. He is accompanied by assistant coach Peter McCorkle.
On Thursday, March 22 Southern Utah will take on the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas at 1 p.m. (MST).
On Friday, March 23 Southern Utah will take on Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas at 9 a.m. (MST).
On Saturday, March 24 Southern Utah will take on Oral Roberts University in Prairie View, Texas at 9 a.m. (MST).