The Kansas City men's tennis team will debut its 2012-13 roster from Friday to Sunday at the SIUE Invitational. The 'Roos welcome two new players to the lineup this weekend in freshman Daniil Ivanov and sophomore Jai Grewal, while returning five starters to last season's singles lineup and five doubles starters.
The first competition of two that will take place this fall, UMKC will head to the SIUE Invitational. There will be several individual brackets with players from SIUE, Omaha, Saint Louis and Southern Indiana. Doubles play will also take place in flighted brackets based on seed.
WHO IS COMPETING
Kansas City is sending Tim Akhmedov, Abdul Alawadhi, Conner Edwards, David Heckler, Daniil Ivanov, Tomas Patino, Grant Fleming and Jai Grewal to compete in this weekend's tournament.
This season's team captains are seniors Grant Fleming and Nino Hasandedic, as well as junior Tomas Patino.
2012 SUMMIT LEAGUE HONORS
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.
The 'Roos finished last season winning 9 of their last 11 matches, with their only losses coming to Bradley by a 4-3 score, and Big 12 Champion Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament.
'ROOS IN THE NCAAS
Last season was UMKC's fifth appearance overall and the second straight in the NCAA Tournament, falling to USC (1999), UCLA (2000), Baylor (2009), Texas (2011) and Oklahoma (2012).
HEAD COACH KENDELL HALE
Kendell Hale is in his fifth season as the head coach of the UMKC men's tennis program. Overall, the 2012-13 season is Hale's 19th as a collegiate head coach, and compiled a 340-242 overall combined record coming into 2012-13. He has a current 63-46 mark with the men. Hale has coached 19 all-league selections and has taken the 'Roos to three regular season titles, three tournament crowns, and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
In 2012, the squad overcame numerous injuries early in the season and captured a share of its third consecutive regular season Summit League title, while hosting the conference tournament and storming through the bracket without dropping a point in wins over South Dakota State and IUPUI to claim the league tournament crown and advance to the NCAA Tournament. UMKC had four all-conference selections, as well as the Player (Grant Fleming) and Newcomer (Tomas Patino) of the Year in the league.
Before joining the UMKC coaching staff, Hale spent 11 years as the head coach at Rockhurst University, where he led the Hawks to nine NCAA Tournament appearances.
NEW ASSISTANT COACH CASSIDY MEARS
Cassidy Mears was named the top assistant coach this summer. He came to UMKC after spending the 2011-12 season as an assistant with Rockhurst.
A Shawnee, Kansas product, he played four years at Brigham Young University and finished his career as the third winningest player in school history. He helped his team finish No. 22 in the nation as a senior (2010), earning conference Player of the Week honors four times during the year. He also served as team captain for three seasons, and went undefeated in conference play during both his junior and senior campaigns.
Mears was a three-time all-conference and academic all-conference selection during his time there. In his season at Rockhurst, he helped the Hawks to their best finish in school history.