April 8, 2009

CORAL GABLES, FLA... – The No. 23 University of Miami men’s tennis team plays host to Boston College on Friday, April 10, at 3 p.m. off UM’s campus at the Ashe/Buchholz Tennis Center at Moore Park in a joint effort with the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department and the Greater Miami Tennis and Education Foundation (GMTEF) to demonstrate the importance of education and athletics to local children.

Kids involved with Parks programs throughout Miami will be in attendance as the Hurricanes (11-7, 7-2 ACC) face the Eagles (14-10, 0-9) in the penultimate match of the 2008-09 regular season. Miami enters the weekend in second place in the ACC standings and in contention for a first-round bye given to the top four seeds at next week’s ACC Men’s Tennis Championships in Cary, N.C.

This is not the first time the Hurricanes will join GMTEF and the City of Miami’s efforts to positively impact the lives of socially and economically challenged children and their families through the sport of tennis. The men’s tennis team initially formed a relationship with the GMTEF two years ago and has since held clinics for the children – both at UM and at Moore Park. However, Friday will mark the first collegiate match for the Hurricanes at the Ashe/Buchholz Tennis Center in Moore Park – located at 765 NW 36th Street in Miami (near SR 112 and NW 7th Avenue).


“We are very excited to continue our relationship with these two great groups and to continue to provide an example to these kids on how much you can achieve through hard work in both school and sports,” said Miami head coach Mario Rincon. “The guys on the team enjoy working with the kids so much that we decided this year we would bring a match to them. I appreciate the support we have received from Boston College and head coach Scott Wilkins and their willingness to participate in this event. It should be a lot of fun for everyone.” 


The Hurricanes are led by 15th-ranked Daniel Vallverdu, the reigning ACC Player of the Week who ranks fourth in career wins in both singles and doubles play in Miami program history. Vallverdu and fellow senior David Rosenfeld (Coral Gables, Fla./Gulliver Prep) are playing in their final home matches for Miami this weekend.


However, Miami’s underclassmen are proving that the Hurricanes’ men’s tennis program should remain strong for seasons to come as freshman Ignacio Taboada is vying for the first 20-win season for a Miami freshman since Josh Cohen went 21-9 in 2003-04. Taboada enters the final weekend of regular-season play with an 18-11 mark in singles competition, while sophomore Keith Crowley brings a 19-7 record and a 6-1 conference mark into weekend play. Sophomore All-American Carl Sundberg has also put together a strong campaign, taking an 18-5 record into Friday – including an 8-1 mark in ACC play.


The Hurricanes – who moved up eight positions in the national rankings to break back into the Top 25 this week– ride a three-match win streak into Friday’s match and have won five of their last six contests. Following Friday’s match versus Boston College, the Hurricanes return home to the Neil Schiff Tennis Center to close the regular season versus Maryland on Sunday, April 12, at 1 p.m. UM seniors Vallverdu and Rosenfeld will be honored during their final home match.


Admission is free to both matches.