Deacs Host VCU, Notre Dame, Wounded Warriors
Feb. 2, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The 39th-ranked Wake Forest men's tennis team will face two home tests on Friday when it hosts No. 42 VCU at 2 p.m. and No. 30 Notre Dame at 7 p.m. at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.
Prior to the match against VCU, two soldiers from the Wounded Warrior Project will be honored on the courts. The ceremony will be the culmination of a day-long program that is being organized through a partnership between VALOR, the Wake Forest law student veterans group, and the USTA. Free legal clinics for veterans will be offered on campus in the morning.
The Demon Deacons enter Friday's matches with a 4-1 record, the only blemish being a loss to No. 5 Florida, and last weekend earned a dramatic 4-3 come-from-behind win over No. 33 Miami at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Wake Forest had trailed 3-1 in the match, but picked up late singles wins by Amogh Prabhakar, Adam Lee and Danny Kreyman to snatch the victory.
Kreyman, Wake Forest's lone ranked player at No. 115 in the singles rankings, has had a strong start to the dual match season, going 4-1 in dual match singles play, including 3-0 at No. 2 singles where he has played the last two matches.
David Hopkins has also posted a 4-1 dual match singles record while splitting time at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, and Amogh Prabhakar has gone 4-1 at No. 3. In doubles, Hopkins and Prabhakar have occupied the No. 1 position and hold a 10-4 overall record, though they dropped both of their matches at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
Wake Forest will face VCU in a rematch of the first round of last year's NCAA Tournament where the Deacons posted a 4-0 victory over the Rams in Charlottesville, Va. with Prabhakar earning the clinching point at No. 6 singles. The match was closer than the final score indicated as the Rams were leading on two of the other singles courts at the time the match was suspended while the third one was tied at a set apiece.
Wake Forest also defeated VCU 6-1 at the Indoor Tennis Center last February, marking their largest margin of victory since 1985 in a highly-competitive series that has been played annually dating back to 1983.
This year's Ram squad holds a 6-1 record and last week split its matches at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, falling 6-0 to No. 10 Duke before defeating No. 30 Louisville by a 4-2 margin. No. 47 Max Wennakoski, VCU's only ranked singles player, played No. 2 singles in last weekend's matches.
Notre Dame sits at 4-2 after also splitting its matches at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The Fighting Irish fell 6-1 to No. 29 Indiana before rallying to defeat No. 44 Cornell 4-2.
Casey Watt has been playing No. 1 singles for the Irish, while their lone ranked player, No. 74 Sam Keeton has been occupying the No. 3 spot. Notre Dame has shown a bit of a weakness in doubles recently, dropping the doubles point in each of its last three matches. Wake Forest and Notre Dame will be meeting for only the second time, with the previous meeting ending in an Irish win back in 1990.