Jan. 15, 2008
Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's men's tennis team kicks off the 2008 season in Honolulu, HI, where they will participate in the Hawaii Invitational. While on the islands the Gaels will face Florida State and host school Hawaii. Both teams prove to be tough competitors for the Gaels, as each team has players that earned Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles preseason rankings.
"I am looking forward to see how the team competes against the highest caliber teams. We have an opportunity to prove ourselves at the highest level," said head coach Michael Wayman.
In the Gaels' first match of the season they will face No.18 Florida State on Thursday, January 17 at 11:00 AM. The Florida State Seminoles are ranked No. 18 by the ITA and have already recorded two wins early in the season. The Seminoles started in dominating fashion by sweeping Florida Atlantic and Mercer on Saturday, January 12 at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. Two members of the Florida State Seminoles earned ITA singles preseason rankings (#68 Sam Chang and #77 Clint Bowles).
On Saturday, January 19 the Gaels will take on host school Hawaii at 12:00 PM. The Wahine most recently fell to No. 13 Alabama in their season opener, but took the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches against the Crimson Tide. The match marked Hawaii's first dual match of 2008, as the Wahine fell 5-2 at the UH Tennis Complex.
Sascha Heinemann led the Wahine in the match, as he beat No. 98 Mathieu Thibaudeau of Alabama in straight sets (6-3, 6-4). Heinemann earned a No. 50 ITA singles preseason ranking, and recently was named Western Athletic Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Week for the week of January 7-13.
The Gaels will face eight teams this season that earned spots in the ITA preseason rankings. The highest preseason ranked opponent that the Gaels match-up against is No. 17 Pepperdine, with the next being No. 18 Fresno State.
For updated results from the Hawaii Invitational return to www.SMCGaels.com.