Men’s tennis hits the road looking to stay unbeaten

The No. 6 men’s tennis team is heading to Virginia over the weekend to play in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville where they will face No. 13 University of South Florida.

At 5-0, the team is trying to stay unbeaten on the season.

“We are undefeated for the moment, we won five matches and two matches 4-3,” sophomore Thibault Forget said. “I think we have a pretty good confidence going on right now.”

The Trojans qualified for the championships after winning the kick-off event on Jan. 22-23 on the home courts of Marks Stadium with a 4-3 win over Tulane, thanks to a third-set comeback by Forget, who battled to win the set 6-4 after being down 4-2.

The team will have to adjust quickly to the indoor courts, as they have been practicing on outdoor courts so far.

“It’s going to be indoor but the courts are supposedly going to be pretty slow,” Forget said. “We’re practicing on short points, lot more drills that are one-two shots, trying to go to the net a lot because indoors is usually faster compared to outdoors.”

The Men of Troy have no doubles team ranked but can rely on four singles player among the top in the nation. At No. 41, junior Nick Crystal is currently 3-1 in the season, while at No. 69 and at No. 83 respectively, freshmen Logan Smith and Jake DeVine will try to remain undefeated, as they carry a 5-0 and 4-0 record. At No. 115 is senior Max de Vroome, with a 1-2 record overall.

“The first matches we played pretty good teams but now we are going to play against the top 16 teams in the country,” Forget said. “Obviously, we are expecting something different. The coaches are harder with us because we all know the level is going to be higher. There is obviously a lot more expectation but I think we are ready to play against these guys, and it’s going to be a great chance for the freshmen to know what it is to play against the best teams”

University of South Florida is currently 3-1 and has recently suffered its first loss to Texas A&M, after a close match that ended with the score of 4-3. The Bulls have no doubles team ranked nationally. In singles, sophomore Roberto Cid is ranked at No. 17 and is currently undefeated for this season.

If the fourth seed Trojans win Friday, they would play Saturday against the winner of the match between TCU and Illinois. The semifinals and final are scheduled on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

First serve Friday is at 12:30 P.M.