NORFOLK, Va. - The Old Dominion University men’s tennis team will be going on the road for the last time this season before the Conference USA Tournament in Tulsa, Okla. During this road trip, the Monarchs will face off against South Alabama on Saturday, April 5, at 2:00 p.m. ODU will also take-on a C-USA opponent in UAB on Sunday, April 4, at 10:00 a.m. This will be Old Dominion’s second conference match of the season. The first was a 4-3 victory against UTSA in February.
The Monarchs are 12-7 on the season, including a 4-3 win over No. 64 ranked College of Charleston on March 23. Old Dominion has only competed in three road contests all season, but are 11-5 at home this season. ODU is coming off a 6-1 victory over former conference foe, James Madison.
Old Dominion’s best single’s player is No. 96 Carlos Lopez Villa, who is 17-1 on the season and has won seven matches in a row. Lopez Villa’s last win over a ranked opponent was against No. 69 Rafael Atia, where he won in dominating fashion 6-1, 6-0.
Zvonimir Podvinski has been steady the entire season and has accumulated a record of 13-5. Podvinski has started in the No. 3 and 4 positions, but has shined as the No. 3 with a record of 8-2.
Old Dominion sophomore Jonas Kuwert has been versatile, playing at four different positions. Kuwert goes into the road trip with a record of 11-7.
The University of South Alabama is currently 14-7 on the year and are hard to beat at home, posting a 7-1 record at the Bruce David Lubel Memorial Tennis Courts. The Jaguars are 1-6 against ranked opponents, with their only win coming from their victory over No. 63 University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The Jags had a three game win streak going before it was halted by Conference USA foe Middle Tennessee State.
Tuki Jacobs earned the Sun Belt Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Week award after going 2-0 in singles to improve to 11-5 this spring, and becomes the second Jaguar to receive the honor this season. Daniel Leitner also received the award, for the third time in his career, for his undefeated start to the 2014 spring men's tennis season. Leitner was unbeaten in his first five matches at the No. 1 position, and won four of those in straight sets. Leitner has been ranked as high as No. 117 this season.
Entering his sixth season at the helm for South Alabama, Nick Brochu has compiled a 45-48 overall record, seven all-conference singles selections and four doubles selections. During his first season as head coach, he led South Alabama to its second consecutive Sun Belt title and a No. 51 final national ranking.
The UAB Blazers have won seven out of their last nine matches, for a total record of 11-7. The Blazers are 3-1 versus Conference USA opponents and were ranked as high as No. 69 in country. Despite a winning record, this team is only 1-4 against ranked opponents, with that win coming at home against No. 65 Tulane.
UAB is led by Chris Helliar, who received Conference USA Player of the Week Honors after going 4-0 in singles and 3-1 in doubles. Helliar is ranked No. 80 by ITA, and posts a 12-5 record in singles along with 13-4 record in doubles with partner Mitchell Martell. Rafael Rondino has won 8 of his last 9 matches, including seven in a row.
Derek Tarr has been the head coach of the blazers for 21 years and has amassed a record of 318-157. He has been named conference coach of the year six times, along with one Regional Coach of the Year, and was a finalist for National Coach of the Year in 1993. Tarr has also led the Blazers to five conference championships and qualified for regional’s on five different occasions.
Be sure to keep up with all the latest news regarding ODU Men’s Tennis on Facebook; as well as follow @ODUMensTennis on Twitter.