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FEBRUARY 1, 2012

WHAT'S AHEAD: The Drake men's tennis squad commences the home portion of its slate entertaining Western Illinois and Chicago State on Saturday (Feb. 4) at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.  Match times are slated for 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., respectively.

HARVARD KICK-OFF INVITATIONAL RECAP: The Bulldogs came through tournament play at the Harvard Kick-Off Invitational in Cambridge, Mass., last weekend with a 2-1 mark.

Drake opened its dual campaign with a bang last Friday (Jan. 27) as the 67th-ranked Bulldogs registered a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over No. 66 and previously undefeated DePaul.

The Blue Demons seized the early momentum in the match by securing decisions at the Nos. 1 and 3 doubles positions to stake themselves to a 1-0 lead entering singles competition.

Junior James McKie (Edinburgh, Scotland) collected the Bulldogs' first victory, registering a 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Sven Kasper at No. 3, to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Junior Anis Ghorbel (Sfax, Tunisia) squared the affair at two, dispatching George Chanturia at the top singles slot, 6-3, 6-3, before sophomore Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) placed Drake on the brink of recording the win, dealing Aaron Chaffee a 6-1, 7-5 setback at No. 5 to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.

Playing in his first career singles tilt, freshman Ben Mullis (Leicestershire, England) recorded the deciding point in the match following his 6-3, 6-2 triumph against Adam Reinhart at No. 6.

Unable to overcome an early deficit, Drake suffered its first loss of the season, dropping a 4-1 decision at No. 73 Harvard last Saturday (Jan. 28).

In singles, Ghorbel accounted for the Bulldogs' lone tally with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Jonathan Pearlman at the No. 1 position.

In a match that last over four hours, Drake ground out a 4-1 victory over Denver last Saturday (Jan. 28).

The 67th-ranked Bulldogs claimed the doubles point on the strength of an 8-6 decision by senior Cesar Bracho (Luque, Paraguay) and freshman Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina) over Fabio Biasion and Max Krammer at the No. 2 position.

Drake extended the lead to 3-0 following victories at the Nos. 4 and 6 singles courts from Goodman and Hadash.

Clinching his second match of the tournament was Mullis, who dispatched Krammer on court No. 5, 7-5, 6-4.

IN OUR LAST MEETINGS: En route to registering a 7-0 victory past Western Illinois on March 6, 2011, at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center, the Bulldogs swept all three doubles contests with senior Mauricio Ballivian and then sophomore Anis Ghorbel securing the doubles point following the tandem's 8-4 decision over Jeff Cote and Patrick Hammers at the No. 1 position.

In singles, the advantage increased to 3-0 after victories at the Nos. 2 and 4 slots by James McKie and Robin Goodman.

Garnering the deciding triumph for Drake on court No. 5 was Jonathan Hadash.  The Bulldogs also collected victories at the Nos. 1, 3 and 6 slots, respectively, from Ballivian, Ghorbel and Sean O'Grady (Tempe, Ariz.).

Chicago State had only five available players at its disposal in the Bulldogs' 7-0 win on Feb. 28, 2010, and Drake took advantage in doubles, earning wins at the top two positions to garner the tally in doubles play.

In singles Evan Enquist registered a 6-0, 6-0 decision against Jose Leon at No. 5. 

Drake also collected wins from Ballivian, McKie, Jean Erasmus and Ryan Drake (Hilton Head Island, S.C.), along with Ryan King (Wildwood, Mo.).

UP NEXT: The Bulldogs continue their five-match homestand hosting East Tennessee State on Feb. 9 at 8:00 a.m.

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