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Sophomore Alen Salibasic
Courtesy: Chris Donahue

Bulldogs Close Fall At Gopher Invitational

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: November 01, 2012
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WHAT'S AHEAD
The Drake men's tennis team draws its fall campaign to a close this weekend as the Bulldogs visit Minneapolis, Minn., to participate in the Gopher Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota.  The three-day tournament will run from Friday (Nov. 2) through Sunday (Nov. 4) with participating schools being Dartmouth, Denver, DePaul, Drake, Minnesota and Nebraska.

ITA CENTRAL REGIONAL RECAP
Drake seniors Anis Ghorbel (Sfax, Tunisia) and James McKie (Edinburgh, Scotland) were thwarted in their bid to capture the doubles crown at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Regional on Oct. 22 in Minneapolis, Minn., suffering an 8-4 setback in the championship match versus Guillermo Alcorta and Axel Alverez of Oklahoma.

The duo reached the title tilt registering arguably one of the biggest victories in Drake men's tennis history, upsetting the No. 1 doubles team in the country of Costin Paval and Dane Webb from Oklahoma on Oct. 21.

In singles, Ghorbel and junior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) nearly made it an all-Drake finale as each came up short in their respective semifinal matches.

Ghorbel, who is ranked No. 87 in the preseason ITA singles rankings, dealt Paval, who is rated No. 6 nationally, a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 setback in the quarterfinals.

With little time to recover after a grueling match, Ghorbel fell short in his showdown with No. 50 Leandro Toledo of Minnesota, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Goodman handed 44th-rated Clifford Marsland of Tulsa a 6-4, 6-4 loss in the quarterfinals before dropping a 6-3 6-0 decision against No. 28 Alcorta of Oklahoma.

Besting sophomore Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina) in the quarterfinals was Alcorta, 6-3, 6-2.

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 opens its spring campaign hosting the Missouri Valley Conference Individuals (Jan. 18-20) at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

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