Courtesy: UMKC Athletics/MSH Photography
'Roos Set To Take On OU In NCAA Opener
Courtesy:UMKC Athletics
(Kansas City, Mo.)  -- The UMKC men's tennis team (10-15) will make its fifth appearance in the NCAA Championships when it heads to Norman, Okla., to face No. 12 Oklahoma (18-3) at 2 p.m. on May 11 at the Headington Family Tennis Center.


No. 12 Oklahoma enters the tournament with an 18-3 record after capturing the Big 12 Championship title with a 4-3 win over Baylor on Apr. 29.  The Sooners are led from the No. 1 line by No. 14 Costin Paval and from the No. 2 line by No. 63 Guillermo Alcorta.  In doubles play, OU's features the No. 11 ranked No. 1 team of Paval and Dane Webb and the No. 57 ranked No. 2 team of Tsvetan Mihov and Peerakit Siributwong.


UMKC trails the all-time series with the Sooners, 0-2, falling 5-0 in 1994 and 7-0 in 1996.  Against current Big 12 members, the 'Roos are 10-10 all-time with all 10 wins coming against Missouri.


The No. 1 seeded UMKC men's tennis team (10-15) claimed its second straight Summit League Championship title and advanced to the 2012 NCAA Championships with a 4-0 win over No. 3 seed IUPUI (11-15) on Apr. 28 at the Plaza Tennis Center.  After claiming the doubles point, Nino Hasandedic won his match at No. 3 and Abdulrahman Alawadhi won at No. 2, while Cameron Schoenhofer won at the No. 6 line to send UMKC back to the NCAA Championships for the fifth time in school history.


Grant Fleming was named the 2012 Summit League Player of the Year and Tomas Patino was named the Newcomer of the Year, each joining teammate Nino Hasandedic as winners of the award.  Joining Fleming and Patino on the All-Summit League Team were Abdul Alawadhi and Gustavo Guerin.


This will be UMKC's fifth appearance overall and the second straight in the NCAA Championships after falling to USC (1999), UCLA (2000), Baylor (2009) and Texas (2011) in their previous trips


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


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


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.

   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 Apr. 24, 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 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.


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.


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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