Men's and Women's Tennis Teams to Take on Creighton
March 20, 2008
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's and women's tennis teams hope to open their new facility, The Gregory Street Tennis Courts, by opening their MVC schedule's against Creighton on Friday, March 20th. First serve has been moved to 1:45 p.m. to accommodate the possibility of having to move the matches indoors to The Evergreen Racquet Club. A decision on which venue will be used will be made Friday morning.
The last time the two schools met, the men's team defeated Creighton 5-0 in the MVC tournament on April 27, 2007, and the women's team defeated the Bluejays, 4-1, on March 31, 2007.
Women's head coach Chris Hoover was excited about the beginning of conference play.
"We are ready for the matches to start counting," said Hoover. "We're anxious to get out there and play some conference matches. I expect our girls to come out and play well. Creighton is dealing with some injuries and will be down to five girls, so we expect to go in and win."
The injury bug bit the men's team again on Thursday. Already with senior Oscar Beich on the shelf indefinitely, the `Birds found out that sophomore Xavier Riart-Ferrer, who sustained an injury in last week's match against College of Charleston, will also be out indefinitely. The injuries leave the Redbirds with only five healthy players, meaning they must forfeit a doubles and singles match.
"The injury has an effect on how we approach matches and define success," said head men's tennis coach Cris James. "Forfeiting a singles and doubles match changes how define a successful match. We still have the goal of improving every day and our attitudes will have a large role in how we do from here. If we take the challenge mindset of trying to knock teams off with only five guys, I think we'll have more fun and be more successful. Our guys have to show up with their A-game every time and we need to fire on all cylinders."
In singles, the Redbird men expect junior Daniel Tobar and freshman Filip Miljevic to continue their strong play as of late. Tobar comes into Friday's match on a six-match winning streak while Miljevic has won four-consecutive matches.
The Redbird women will look to sophomore Julia Zubkova to continue her success on the court. Zubkova has won her last four singles matches giving her an overall 8-4 spring season record.
In doubles, the Redbird's men's team will be forced to put a new lineup on the court due to the injury to Riart-Ferrer. The Redbird men have a 20-10 (.667) record this year in doubles. In order to capture the doubles point, the men must win both matches, due to their forfeit of one doubles match.
Illinois State's women's team will look to capitalize on Hoover's philosophy on the importance of winning the doubles point in order to secure the overall win. The duo of junior Tanja Hrovatic and senior Carolyne Parent lead the 'Birds with a 5-4 spring doubles record, and will be an important component in the Creighton match.