`Birds Travel to Creighton and Drake This Weekend
Head coach Cris James
Head coach Cris James

April 10, 2009

NORMAL, Ill. - After splitting a pair of Valley matches last weekend, the Illinois State men's tennis team will continue its conference schedule against Creighton Saturday (April 11) and Drake Sunday (April 12). Creighton will host the Redbirds at 1 p.m., at the Koch Family Tennis Center, while the match against Drake will be played at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center, starting at 11 a.m.

Illinois State is 1-1 in the Valley after sweeping Bradley, and dropping a close 4-3 decision to Wichita State. The team is 6-9 overall in the regular season. Both Creighton and Drake will play Bradley before taking on Illinois State.

"This weekend's competition will be similar to what we faced last weekend," said head coach Cris James. "I think earning the doubles point will be huge. We'll need to be ready to take care of business and be confident. We've been playing really well and each match is a learning opportunity. We are focusing on taking care of the little things than can affect the outcome of the match."

Creighton enters the weekend 3-8 on the season, and 0-4 in the Valley. The Jays are coming off a 5-1 loss to Indiana State last Sunday. Last season, the Redbirds topped Creighton, 6-1, with only five healthy players. Illinois State picked up the doubles' point, while giving up the lone point as a forfeit at No. 6 singles.

Drake is 3-0 in the Valley, with a 10-9 overall record. The Bulldogs' last victory was over Southern Illinois, 4-2, Sunday April 5. Drake was the 2007-08 Missouri Valley Conference tournament and regular-season champions. Maor Zirkin leads the Bulldogs with a 27-5 singles mark, primarily at the No. 1 position.

GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.