Jan 30, 2013 6:58 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - The Ragin' Cajuns men's tennis team is slated to open the 2013 home season on Friday at 3 p.m. when they host the University of New Orleans in a dual match sponsored by Cajun Harley Davidson at Cajun Courts.
"The expectation for this weekend is to improve and do the basics well," head coach Mark Jeffrey said. "Instead of thinking about the rankings we need to think about how we can improve. We also need to not be afraid to bring part of their training into matches. If we can do that then we will improve over the semester."
The Cajuns (0-2) are coming off back-to-back defeats at the ITA Kick-off Weekend in Columbus, Ohio. UL came up on the short end of a 4-3 decision to No.64 Miami (Fla.) before falling 4-2 to No. 72 ETSU in the consolation match.
Doubles partners Rick de Groot and Jake Wynan had a good start to the season as they are 2-0 after the first weekend of competition, while freshman Hunter Johnson had a convincing 6-2, 6-0 win in his debut in dual match play at No.6 singles.
With the 0-2 start, Louisiana drops to No.74 in the latest ITA Division National Rankings released on Wednesday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
"We aren't worried about the rankings," Jeffrey mentioned. "Our focus is to get better as a team. If you take care of your game and improve everything else will take care of itself."
The Privateers come into the match with a 1-1 record. UNO swept Oral Roberts 7-0 to open the season, but then suffered a 6-1 set back at the hands of Tulane this past weekend.
New Orleans features a ranked player in Rui Silva who is No.110 in the country and has a 2-0 record at No.1 singles for the Privateers.
"New Orleans is coming back to Division I, and they are eager and hungry to get a win against an in-state rival," Jeffrey stated. "They have an outstanding No.1 player and their whole team is looking to get better. They are going to come at us, and Lamar our opponent right after them will do the same thing. We have to come out and match their energy."
Admission to the UNO match is free and the first 50 people in attendance will receive free crawfish.
"I really want to thank Cajun Harley Davidson for sponsoring the match," Jeffrey added. "They have been long time supporters of men's tennis and UL athletics."
Fans that are unable to attend the match in person can follow the action via live stats. Also, for the first time ever fans can also watch the feature cam as a select court in both singles and doubles will be broadcast live on RaginCajuns.com.
Following the New Orleans match the Cajuns will head to Beaumont, Texas to face Lamar on Saturday at 1 p.m.