MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - In what may be a prelude to a magical spring campaign, the Drake men's tennis team advanced three singles players and one doubles squad into the quarterfinal round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Regional after the Bulldogs registered an 9-2 combined singles/doubles ledger on Saturday (Oct. 20).
In doubles, the 59th-rated duo of seniors Anis Ghorbel (Sfax, Tunisia) and James McKie (Edinburgh, Scotland) garnered a 9-7 victory past the 50th-ranked tandem of Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson of Tulsa. Ghorbel and McKie advance to face Wichita State's Alvaro Gutierrez and Matheus Pereira.
Drake made its biggest splash in singles where Bulldogs account for three of the final eight participants in the main draw.
Ghorbel, who is ranked No. 87 in the preseason ITA singles rankings, dispatched Lawrence Formentera of Oklahoma in his morning match, 6-3, 6-0, before downing another Sooner in No. 97 Peerakit Siributwong, 6-4, 6-4.
Ghorbel will face sixth-ranked Costin Paval of Oklahoma, who handed senior Jean Erasmus (Windhoek, Namibia) a 7-6 (3), 7-5 setback on Saturday (Oct. 20), in the quarterfinals on Sunday (Oct. 21).
Junior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) added a pair of triumphs of his own on the day, collecting a 7-6 (2), 6-0 victory over Mike Nott of Arkansas and defeating Mathieu Froment of Minnesota, 6-2, 6-1. Goodman will next tangle with No. 44 Clifford Marsland of Tulsa.
Sophomore Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina) rounded out Drake's efforts registering a pair of wins. Salibasic defeated fellow Missouri Valley Conference foe Ruillermo Nicol of Wichita State, 1-6, 7-5, 6-2, before upending 87th-rated Rok Bonin of Minnesota, 6-4, 7-6 (2). Up next for Salibasic is No. 28 Guillermo Alcorta of Oklahoma.
McKie nearly made it four members of the Drake men's tennis team in the quarterfinals as he won his opening match versus Ruben Weber of Minnesota, 6-1, 6-1, before falling to Alcorta, 6-3, 6-4.
Competition in the main draw in both singles and doubles continues on Sunday (Oct. 21).
ITA CENTRAL REGIONAL
OCT. 20 • MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.
No. 6 Costin Paval (OKLA) def. Jean Erasmus (DU), 7-6 (3), 7-5
No. 87 Anis Ghorbel (DU) def. Lawrence Formentera (OKLA), 6-3, 6-0
No. 87 Anis Ghorbel (DU) vs. No. 97 Peerakit Siributwong (OKLA), 6-4, 6-4
Robin Goodman (DU) def. Mike Nott (ARK), 7-6 (2), 6-0
Robin Goodman (DU) vs. Mathieu Froment (MINN), 6-2, 6-1
Alen Salibasic (DU) vs. Ruillermo Nicol (WSU), 1-6, 7-5, 6-2
Alen Salibasic (DU) def. No. 87 Rok Bonin (MINN), 6-4, 7-6 (2)
James McKie (DU) def. Ruben Weber (MINN), 6-1, 6-1
No. 28 Guillermo Alcorta (OKLA) def. James McKie (DU), 6-3, 6-4
Ben Mullis (DU) def. Alejandro Espejo Sanchez (TULSA), 6-3, 5-7, 1-0
No. 59 Ghorbel/McKie (DU) def. No. 50 Grant Ive/Tristan Jackson (TULSA), 9-7