|ISU men’s tennis beats SIU, falls in Valley semifinals|
|Written by Kevin Powell, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Monday, 30 April 2012 10:34|
The Redbird men’s tennis team was able to prove its talent when it beat SIU, 4-3, in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in Omaha, Neb., before losing in the second round to No. 48 Drake this past weekend.
“I was happy with how the team did today,” ISU head coach Cris James said after the victory over the Salukis. “You could tell we really wanted to win. A couple of our guys were really consistent throughout the whole match, which we needed.”
SIU was able to take 2-of-3 in doubles play, as Stanislas Rodier and Brandon Florez beat ISU’s Alexander Pelaez and Tuomas Manner, 8-3, in the No. 1 position.
Willi Peter and Muddappa Appanervanda lost in the No. 2 slot, 8-6, to Orhan Spahic and Szymon Opieczonek.
The lone doubles victory came from Skip Span and Jordan Badenko when they defeated Badr Cherradi and Jordan Snyder, 8-5.
Span also had a big win in singles play as he defeated Florez, 6-3, 6-2, in the No. 3 position. Appanervanda lost to Spahic, 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, before Manner beat Rodier, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, in the No. 2 spot.
Jordan Badenko won his match against Opieczonek, 6-2, 6-4, in the No. 6 spot.
“Jordan has been making big strides in the last couple weeks,” James said. “He is getting more comfortable in his own skin, he is getting more comfortable in a college dual-match setting, and he is getting to know what he has to do and how he has to play in order to be successful. He did a great job tonight.”
After the Redbirds dropped the Salukis they had a tough task with one of the best teams in the country waiting for them.
However, with Drake fully loaded, ISU’s season came to a close when the ’Birds were unable to beat the Bulldogs in the semifinals, losing 4-0, at the Koch Family Outdoor Tennis Center.
“Drake really played hard,” James said. “They have some exceptional talent and were the better team.”
James McKie and Anis Ghorbel beat Pelaez and Manner, 8-3, in the No. 1 spot. Jean Erasmus and Robin Goodman also won in dominating fashion when they beat Appanervanda and Peter, 8-1, in the No. 2 spot.
In singles play, Pelaez lost his match to Ghorbel, 6-0, 6-4, in the No. 1 position while Manner dropped his match to McKie, 6-1, 6-2. Badenko then lost to Ben Mullis, 6-0, 6-1, in the No. 6 spot.
Appanervanda, Span, and Peter all had their matches go unfinished with Drake sealing up the victory before they were over.
“Skip came to win and played with determination, as he has been playing like the past couple matches,” James said of the senior. “He was an excellent asset to our team as well as this season and it was great to watch him play strong in his last match.”
ISU concluded its season with a 9-14 record.