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Seniors Anis Ghorbel, James McKie, Jean Erasmus and Ryan Drake
Courtesy: Sean Palchick

ITA Central Regional Next On Radar For Drake

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: October 17, 2012
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WHAT'S AHEAD
The Drake men's tennis team travels to Minneapolis, Minn., this weekend (Oct. 18-22) to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Regional hosted by the University of Minnesota.

Seniors Jean Erasmus (Windhoek, Namibia) and Ryan Drake (Hilton Head, Island, S.C.), along with sophomore Grant Tesmer (Lincoln, Neb.) and freshman Ben Lott (Newcastle, England) are part of the qualifying singles draw that begins on Thursday (Oct. 18) at 9:00 a.m.

The quartet hopes to join seniors Anis Ghorbel (Sfax, Tunisia) and James McKie (Edinburgh, Scotland), junior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) and sophomores Ben Mullis (Leicestershire, England) and Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina) in the main draw which runs from Friday (Oct. 19) through Monday (Oct. 22).

In doubles, the tandems of Ghorbel and McKie, Lott and Salibasic, Erasmus and Goodman and Drake and Tesmer have qualified for the main draw that begins play on Friday (Oct. 19).

ITA CENTRAL REGIONAL RECAP
Drake men's tennis seniors Anis Ghorbel and James McKie came within one win of advancing to the main doubles draw of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championships on Oct. 3 in Tulsa, Okla., as the duo registered a 1-1 mark in the qualifying draw on the day.

The 59th-rated Bulldog tandem moved into the finals of the qualifying flight after defeating Grant Taylor and Lance Wilhelm of Air Force, 8-6.

In the title match of the bracket, Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant of Texas A&M collected an 8-0 victory over Ghorbel and McKie, to end the tandem's pursuit of a berth in the main draw.

In singles, McKie's run in the qualifying draw came to an end after suffering a 6-3, 6-2 setback versus 52nd-rated Alexis Heugas of VCU.

Junior Robin Goodman won the first set against 94th-ranked Daniel Kreyman of Wake Forest, 6-1, before his opponent rallied to post a 1-6, 7-6 (11), 6-4 triumph.

A YEAR AGO
Anis Ghorbel's bid to claim the men's singles title at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Regional came up just short as Tsvetan Mihov of Oklahoma garnered a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) triumph in the championship match on Oct. 25, 2011.

Ghorbel was attempting to become the second Bulldog to earn a singles title at the ITA Central Regional.

Not lost in the excitement of Ghorbel's efforts was the play of Jean Erasmus, who became the first Bulldog since Ivan Mendoza in 2008 to play in the semifinal round of the consolation draw, when he faced Ashton Kalhorn of Bradley.  Erasmus quickly dispatched of Kalhorn, 6-3, 6-0, before claiming the consolation singles title with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Gabriel Townes of Bradley.

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 closes out its fall campaign returning to Minneapolis, Minn., for the Minnesota Golden Gopher Invitational (Nov. 2-4).

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