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Sophomore Alen Salibasic
Courtesy: Chris Donahue

Drake Contingent Headed To ITA All-American Championships

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: September 26, 2012
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WHAT'S AHEAD
Four members of the Drake men's tennis team will travel to Tulsa, Okla., this weekend to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championships.

Pre-qualifying singles play commences on Saturday (Sept. 29) with senior James McKie (Edinburgh, Scotland), junior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) and sophomore Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina) competing.  Senior Anis Ghorbel (Sfax, Tunisia) begins his run in the qualifying round on Monday (Oct. 1).

In doubles, Ghorbel and McKie earned a spot in the qualifying draw that swings into action on Monday (Oct. 1).

DRAKE FALL INVITATIONAL RECAP
Drake opened its fall campaign with a trio of titles at the Drake Fall Invitational last weekend at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

James McKie culminated the opening weekend for the Bulldogs capturing a Drake Fall Invitational championship in the 'F' singles flight last Sunday (Sept. 23).

McKie bested Eric Schuemans from Northern Colorado, 6-1, 6-1.  The championship was McKie's second career Drake Fall Invitational crown.

The Bulldogs captured a pair of doubles titles as well on Friday (Sept. 21).

In the 'A' doubles draw, the tandem of Anis Ghorbel and Robin Goodman posted three wins to claim the title with an 8-4 decision past Chase Tomlins and Joey White of Iowa.

The championship was the second Drake Fall Invitational doubles crown for Ghorbel and first in the career of Goodman.

The duo of James McKie and Alen Salibasic provided the Bulldogs their second title on the strength of a 3-0 record in the 'C' doubles flight.  McKie and Salibasic earned the championship dispatching Marcel Gyswyt and Logan Peterson of Gustavus Adolphus, 8-2.

It marked the second career Drake Fall Invitational doubles titles for both McKie and Salibasic.

A YEAR AGO
Drake came up short in its bid to move forward at the ITA All-American Championships on Oct. 2, 2011, after Anis Ghorbel and James McKie suffered setbacks in their respective singles matches.

After receiving a "Lucky Loser" bid into the qualifying round of the draw, McKie was dealt a 6-2, 6-1 loss at the hands of Sander Gille from East Tennessee State.

Ghorbel came up short in his match, dropping a 6-4, 6-2 decision against Florida's Spencer Newman.
Alen Salibasic won his first two matches in pre-qualifying play, including downing Jackson Withrow of Texas A&M (17-32 seeding), 6-3, 6-3, but was thwarted in his bid to move into the qualifying draw suffering a 6-3, 6-2 setback against third-seeded Lars Behlen of Baylor.

DRAKE DUO GARNERS ITA PRESEASON RANKINGS
Drake men's tennis seniors Anis Ghorbel and James McKie earned national recognition for their play when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its national preseason singles and doubles rankings on Sept. 10.

Posting a 51-14 combined singles/doubles mark last season, including 28-7 in singles en route to being named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, Ghorbel came in at No. 87 in the national singles tabulations.

In doubles, the first-team All-MVC tandem of Ghorbel and McKie, who registered a 14-5 record a year ago, checked in at No. 59 in the national rankings.

DRAKE HEAD COACH DAVIDSON KOZLOWSKI
Davidson Kozlowski, an assistant coach the last seven seasons at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is in his first season as head men's tennis coach at Drake.

The Blazers concluded the 2011 season with a 17-9 overall record, their highest-victory total since posting 19 wins in 2000.  UAB rose to as high as No. 59 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) ranking before concluding the campaign at No. 75.

During his tenure in Birmingham, Kozlowski spearheaded recruiting, assisted with team travel and budget management and coordinated fundraising and community outreach.

Kozlowski, 36, came to UAB after spending three years as the Director of Tennis at Birchtree Swim and Racquet Club, a position he continued to hold until his appointment at Drake.

UP NEXT
Drake visits Minneapolis, Minn., for the ITA Central Regional (Oct. 18-22).

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