Southern Illinois opened their fall season claiming 12 match wins at the MTSU Dale Short Shootout.
Sept. 23, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
MURFREESBORO, Tenn.-- The Southern Illinois University men's tennis team opened their fall season this weekend competing in the MTSU Dale Short Shootout.
The Salukis totaled 12 wins in the three-day competition that featured players from Middle Tennessee State, Lipscomb, and University of Alabama at Birmingham.
"There were a lot of great moments this weekend but it was also a good weekend to see what we need to improve on moving forward into our fall schedule," said SIU head coach Dann Nelson.
Southern opened the singles competition on Friday afternoon winning three matches against UAB. Rafael Cuadrillero won this match in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Martijn Admiraal also bested his opponent in three sets while Szymon Opieczonek took the win in one.
"Rafael Cuadrillero played really well against UAB, he fought hard," said Coach Nelson.
Saturday SIU faced host MTSU. Martijn Admiraal won his set for the second straight day defeating Bruno Silva of MTSU 2-0 with one retired set. Orhan Spahic picked up his first win of the weekend winning 6-4, 6-4.
Senior Brandon Florez battled against MTSU's Yannick Born but was defeated in three sets 3-6, 7-5, 7-5. "Brandon had an incredible match," said Nelson.
"It was definitely his best match as a Saluki."
"Middle Tennessee's duo was big guys with really big serves and we were able to come back and win, it really showed they can play with anybody."
Senior Badr Cherradi and freshman Johnny Rigby had a stellar weekend defeating all their opponents during the three-day shootout. Cherradi and Rigby won Friday and Saturday's sets 8-4 while they took Sunday's win over Lipscomb 8-5.
"We just decided to put this team together and they proved to be a strong team moving up to number one doubles on the final day of competition and going undefeated on the weekend," said Nelson.
The Salukis will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma next weekend to compete in the ITA All-American.