Courtesy: UMKC Athletics/MSH Photography
Kangaroos Ready For Summit League Championships
Courtesy:UMKC Athletics
Release:04/26/2012
(Kansas City, Mo.)  -- The No. 1 seeded UMKC men's tennis team (8-15, 4-1) will look to defend its Summit League Tournament Title when it hosts the 2012 Summit League Championships this weekend at the Plaza Tennis Center.  The Kangaroos will open up against No. 4 seeded South Dakota State (7-13, 2-3) on Friday at 2 p.m., before squaring off against the winner of No. 2 IPFW (12-10, 4-1) and No. 3 IUPUI (10-15, 4-1) on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the championships.

THE OPPONENTS

South Dakota State enters the contest with a 7-13 record overall and a 2-3 mark in Summit League play after knocking off Oral Roberts on Saturday.  James Thorp leads the team with 12 wins, including 11 from the No. 4 line, while Parker Lawley has registered 11, with 10 coming from No. 3.

   IPFW comes into the tournament with a 12-10 record overall and a 4-1 mark in league play after defeating IUPUI on Apr. 13.  On the season, Roberto Cabrini leads the Mastodons with 13 wins, while Andres Cobos, Joao Freitas and Martin Maudi each have 11.

   IUPUI enters the championships with a 10-15 record overall and a 4-1 mark in league play after falling to Detroit to close out the regular season.  On the season, Deon Shafer leads the Jaguars with 13 wins, while Ivan Mojsejev has added 11 wins.

SERIES RECORD

UMKC holds an 8-0 mark all-time against SDSU after winning 7-0 on Apr. 19 in Kansas City.  Against IUPUI, meanwhile, the 'Roos are 11-4 all-time after falling to the Jags, 4-3 on Mar. 3 in Indianapolis, while leading the series with IPFW, 5-0 with the 5-2 victory on Apr. 7 at the Plaza Tennis Center.

FIRST MEETINGS

On Mar. 3, the shorthanded 'Roos fell 4-3 to the Jaguars with Tomas Patino picking up a singles and a doubles win on the day.  On Apr. 7, UMKC downed IPFW 5-2, as Patino, Gustavo Guerin and Abdulrahman Alawadhi each notched two wins.  Against SDSU, the Kangaroos picked up a 7-0 win on Apr. 19 without dropping a set.

LAST TIME OUT

The UMKC men's tennis team (8-15, 4-1) earned a share of its third straight Summit League regular season title with a 7-0 win over Western Illinois (4-15, 1-4) on Sunday afternoon at Brophy Courts in Macomb, Ill. On the day, Grant Fleming, Tomas Patino, Abdulrahman Alawadhi, Gustavo Guerin and Cameron Schoenhofer each registered a singles and a doubles win.

ALAWADHI NAMED SUMMIT LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

UMKC junior Abdulrahman Alawadhi garners his first career Summit League Player of the Week award after leading the 'Roos to a 4-0 record on the week, while finishing 4-0 in both singles and doubles play, including three straight-set victories at No. 3 singles over South Dakota State's Justin Pyle (2 and 2), Oral Roberts' Pedro Moreno (3 and 0) and Western Illinois' Jim Capalbo (2 and 1).  In doubles action, he teamed with Gustavo Guerin for wins over SDSU (8-7 (7-5)), ORU (8-2) and WIU (8-3) tandems.  Alawadhi's three league wins helped catapult the Kangaroos into a three-way tie for the regular season title while claiming the top seed in this weekend's Summit League Championship.  He owns a nine-match singles win streak and has been victorious in seven of his last eight doubles matches.

PICKING UP STEAM

After dropping 13 of its first 14 matches this season, the Kangaroos have gotten hot over their last eight contest, picking up wins over Baker (7-0), Nebraska-Omaha (7-0),IPFW (5-2), William Jewell (7-0), South Dakota State (7-0), Oral Roberts (7-0) and Western Illinois (7-0), dropping a closely contested match to Bradley (4-3).

PLAYING IT TOUGH

This season, the 'Roos have already played six teams that have appeared in the ITA rankings  this season including Oklahoma State, Idaho, Oregon, Wichita State, Arkansas and Drake.

FLEMING AND GUERIN NAMED SUMMIT LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Grant Fleming claimed the first Summit League Player of the Week honor of the season and the first of his career after the match with Oklahoma State.  Against the Cowboys, the Overland Park, Kan., native rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 victory over OSU's Rifat Biktyakov.  The victory marked UMKC's first point victory over a BCS opponent since 2008.

   Senior Gustavo Guerin, meanwhile, garnered the honor on Mar. 20 after winning his lone singles match of the week.  Against Lamar, Guerin recorded his team's point by rallying for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory at the No. 3 position against Marton Horvath.  The win was his second of the season.

LAST SEASON

In 2011, the UMKC men's tennis team claimed its second consecutive Summit League regular season title and its second Summit League Tournament title and trip to the NCAA tournament in the last three seasons after finishing 16-7 overall and 6-0 in league play.  Individually, Nino Hasandedic was named Summit League Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year and Head Coach Kendell Hale was named Coach of the Year, while Hasandedic, Grant Fleming, Gustavo Guerin, Serge Ristivojevic and Cameron Schoenhofer were named to the all-League Team.

2012 SUMMIT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL

The UMKC men's tennis team was picked to repeat as Summit League Champions, in a poll by the league's head coaches.  The 'Roos are coming off consecutive undefeated regular season titles and are the defending tournament champions for the second time in the past three years.

HEAD COACH KENDELL HALE

Kendell Hale is entering his fifth season as the head coach of the UMKC men's and women's tennis program.  Overall, the 2011-12 season will be Hale's 18th as a collegiate head coach, where he has compiled a 317-214 overall record.

   Hale has guided both the men's and women's squads to school-record win totals and has produced two Summit League regular season title, two Summit League Tournament crown and two NCAA Tournament appearance.  He was also selected at the 2009 USPTA Missouri Valley College Coach of the Year.

   In four seasons at the helm, Hale has coached 13 first team all-league selections and a pair of second team all-league honorees on the men's side and seven all-league selections (four first/two second) on the women's side.  He's also coached two Summit League Player of the Year and two Summit League Newcomer of the Year.

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