Tide sweeps Hawaii, struggles with Rice

Tide+sweeps+Hawaii%2C+struggles+with+Rice

UA Athletics

11_05_2010 MTE Fall Championship Ian Chadwell Photo by Amelia J. Brackin

Seth Bowman

The 34th-ranked Alabama men’s tennis team began the dual match season past weekend by traveling to Austin, Texas, for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The team was pitted to compete against No. 29 Rice and No. 39 Hawaii playing at Penick-Allison Tennis Center.

Alabama had a down performance opening the event as the men’s tennis team fell to Rice 4-1 in its dual match opener.

“We didn’t play poorly, we were just a bit anxious I think,” said head coach Billy Pate. “It was our first match out, and Rice already had three matches under their belt so that didn’t help us out. They were a tough team, and I felt we were evenly matched. We started to rally back there at the end, but it was too late.”

The Owls earned two wins in doubles starting with senior Oscar Podlewski and sophomore Harry Fowler getting an 8-2 victory over sophomore Ian Chadwell and freshman Daniil Proskura.

The second win for Rice came at the hands of junior Sam Garforth-Bles and sophomore Peter Frank outlasting senior Trey Walston and sophomore Jarryd Botha winning 8-4.

Despite dropping five sets in singles competition, the bright spot for the Crimson Tide was junior Ricky Doverspike. Not only did he earn the Tide’s only victories for the day, but he also continued to build and grow personally.

“It was great for him to get the wins,” Pate said. “It is great for his confidence and can really help him to continue to build a strong mentality.”

Amidst the first day losses, Doverspike and junior Vikram Reddy defeated juniors Michael Nuesslein and Christian Saravia 8-5 in doubles. Doverspike also won in singles, defeating Rice’s Fowler 6-3, 6-1.

On the second day, Doverspike continued his dominance by defeating Hawaii’s Leo Rosenburg 6-1, 6-4. Although winning in singles, Doverspike and teammate Reddy lost to Hawaii seniors Daniel Llarenas and Jeremy Tweedt 8-4.

The Tide played well overall, winning six sets in singles leading them to a 4-0 sweep of the Hawaii Warriors.

“The guys had a sense of urgency going out there against Hawaii,” Pate said. “They were a bit upset after that first day, and they wanted to go out there and really prove themselves. They certainly built some confidence.”

As the Tide prepares to take on Troy and Furman this Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Pate wants to continue to focus on what it takes to get better.

“We’re concerned with process oriented goals,” he said. “Every competition and event will have its ups and its downs. It’s how you manage those ups and downs that can make or break you. Whether we win or we lose, we are not going to let that dictate what we do next.”