TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The LSU men’s tennis team heads to Tuscaloosa, Ala., this week to compete in the ITA Southern Regional hosted by the University of Alabama.
“This is an important event for the team,” LSU coach Jeff Brown said. “It has been a good fall so far. The intensity and energy that this team has taken to each event has been great. We’ve gotten a lot out of the team at each event, and we look forward to continuing that.”
The tournament will last through Oct. 18 with first-round action starting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
Thursday will feature the first round of doubles and the first two rounds of the singles main draw. The second round of doubles and third and fourth rounds of singles, as well as singles consolation matches, will be Friday. Heading into the weekend, the third and fourth round of doubles and the quarterfinals for singles will be Saturday, along with singles consolation matches. Sunday will feature the doubles and singles semifinals. The tournament will wrap up Monday with the finals in doubles, singles and singles consolation.
LSU junior Chris Simpson, ranked No. 29 nationally, has had an impressive fall. He advanced to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Fall Classic in September and is coming off a second-round appearance in the singles main draw at the ITA All-American Championships.
For singles, Simpson received a first-round bye and is seeded second. Sophomores Boris Arias, Tam Trinh and Harrison Kennedy also received first-round byes. Redshirt freshman Eric Perez will face Tulane’s Chi-Shan Jao in the first round Thursday.
Sophomore transfer Andrew Korinek will square off against Juan Troglia of South Alabama. Freshman Justin Butsch will face New Orleans’ Timo Kranz. Redshirt freshman John Michael Busch will take on Michael Binder of New Orleans.
For doubles, Simpson and Arias received a bye and are the No. 3 ranked team. The duos of Busch and Perez and Butsch and Kennedy also received byes. Korinek and Trinh will face South Alabama’s Gerhard Gruindelingh and Manuel Belda.
Inaugural Team Members Selects: Coach Fran Flory announced the five players chose for its inaugural sand volleyball team that begins competition in the spring 2014.
The five players selected from the recent tryouts mid-September are Rachel Barber, Victoria Boraski, Kaitlin Hatcher, Emma Hiller and former indoor volleyball standout Meghan Mannari.
“The tryouts for the 2014 sand volleyball team went extremely well,” Flory said. “We are excited about adding a new sport and look forward to the season.”
Mannari is no stranger to the LSU volleyball program. She was a four-year letter winner for the indoor team. NCAA rules allow Mannari one additional year of eligibility to play sand volleyball. While on the indoor team, Mannari anchored LSU’s back row from the libero position and amassed more than 1,000 career digs.
LSU sand volleyball will begin competition in March and will play in tournaments at Florida State, Florida International and South Carolina in addition to a home tournament at Mango’s. The teams will also compete in several dual matches.
As part of “Sand Volleyball Night”, the team will be introduced in between the second and third sets of the indoor team’s match against Ole Miss on Friday. First serve is at 7 p.m. at the Maravich Center and admission is free.
CLARKE NAMED CS360 PRIMETIME PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: Freshman striker Summer Clarke continues to receive national recognition for her performance in leading the Tigers to an Southeastern Conference road sweep at Arkansas and Alabama last weekend while adding a CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Performer of the Week selection to her résumé late Tuesday.
Clarke was also named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday and the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Player of the Week on Tuesday for her efforts.
Clarke scored five of LSU’s eight goals on the weekend, including both game-winning goals.
The Tigers face Missouri in a home match at 7 p.m. Friday.