Men's Tennis prepares for State Farm MVC Individual Championships

    Junior Orhan Spahic

    Junior Orhan Spahic
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    Salukis End Season with 4-0 Loss to Wichita State

    Kianicka Named Freshman of the Year, Nelson Named co-Coach of the Year in MVC

    Salukis Drop Redbirds to Grab No. 3 Seed at MVC Championships

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    Jan. 19, 2012

    By Tyler Wooten

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    DES MOINES, Iowa - The Southern Illinois Men's Tennis team leaves today for the 2011 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championships this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Tournament Information
    Dates: Jan. 20-22
    Venue: Roger Knapp Tennis Center - Drake University - Des Moines, Iowa

    Dann Nelson - Head Coach - Seventh season - Record as a head coach: 107-80 (70-59)
    Hugo Vidal - Graduate Assistant
    Stanislas Rodier - Senior - Paris, France (Tyler Junior College)
    Badr Cherradi - Junior - Lyon, France (Shorter)
    Brandon Florez - Junior - McKinney, Texas
    Jordan Snyder - Junior - St. Louis, Mo.
    Orhan Spahic - Junior - Sarajevo, Bosnia
    Jorge Cavero - Sophomore - Lima, Peru
    Rafael Cuadrillero - Sophomore - Madrid, Spain
    Martijn Admiraal - Freshman - Lutjebroek, Holland
    Szymon Opieczonek - Freshman - Naklow, Poland

    In its Jan. 3 national and regional rankings, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) ranked one MVC team and eleven Valley players in singles and doubles combined, including the nationally ranked Saluki doubles tandem of junior Brandon Florez and freshman Martijn Admiraal. The full list of MVC rankings by the ITA is as follows:

    National Rankings
    Team: Drake - No. 63 (of 75)
    Singles: No. 51 (of 125) - Anis Ghorbel - Drake; No. 66 - Matheus Pereira - Wichita State
    Doubles: No. 20 (of 60) - Mattheus Pereira and David Cavalcanti - Wichita State; No. 34 - Alexander Pelaez and Tuomas Manner - Illinois State; No. 42 - Brandon Florez and Martijn Admiraal - Southern Illinois
    Central Region Rankings
    Singles: No. 5 (of 20) - Anis Ghorbel - Drake
    Doubles: No. 4 (of 10) - Mattheus Pereira and David Cavalcanti - Wichita State; No. 7 - Brandon Florez and Martijn Admiraal - Southern Illinois

    Junior Orhan Spahic has had great success in singles in the previous two MVC Individual Championships due in part to his ferocious serve. Spahic's serve works well on indoor courts and in the past two seasons it has produced success for the Bosnian native at the Individual Championships. At the 2010 tournament Spahic advanced to the semifinals of Flight No. 5, and in 2011 he advanced to the finals in Flight No. 6 before falling to Wichita State's Valentin Mihai, 4-6, 4-6.

    "Orhan has the best serve on our team," said Head Coach Dann Nelson. "It is very difficult to return, and it's probably the hardest and fastest paced serve on our squad."

    Spahic will face off against Jonathan Hadash of 63rd-ranked Drake tomorrow in the first round of Flight Six singles.

    The doubles team of junior Brandon Florez and freshman Martijn Admiraal were rewarded for their superb play at the ITA Regionals this fall with a No. 42 national doubles ranking and a No. 7 overall ranking in the Central region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

    Florez and Admiraal went 2-1 as a duo this fall season, advancing to the round of eight in the doubles main draw at the ITA Central Regionals. In the first round they defeated the Wichita State duo of Juan Estensorro and Kester Black, 8-3, and in the second round the Salukis toppled the Nebraska team of Robert Schulze and Andre Stenger, 9-8 (4), who are currently ranked 44th by the ITA.

    In the quarterfinals, Florez and Admiraal lost to the eventual champions from Tulsa, the duo of Clifford Marsland and Ashley Watling, who are currently No. 3 overall by the ITA.

    The last time a Saluki doubles team was nationally ranked by the ITA was in 2006, when the duo of Felipe Villasenor and Sergio Sanchez were ranked 28th.

    "I am very happy for Brandon and Martijn, as well as our program," said Head Coach Dann Nelson. "Brandon has played doubles at a very high level for us for the past three years and Martijn showed what he can do as a freshman."



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