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MTennis Travels to Columbus For ITA Kickoff

Courtesy: Hurricanesports.com
          Release: 01/24/2013
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Coral Gables, Fla. - The No. 64 University of Miami men's tennis team will continue their 2013 spring campaign when they take on No. 71 Louisiana-Lafayette on Sat, Jan. 26 at the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Following their first match against the Ragin' Cajuns, the Canes will either match-up against No. 4 Ohio State or No. 72 East Tennessee State on Sun, Jan. 27.

The Hurricanes are coming off a pair of dual matches in Gainesville, where they squared off against No. 12 Florida and Bethune-Cookman. The Canes fell to Florida, 5-2, but responded in convincing fashion by sweeping Bethune-Cookman, 7-0.

Providing the two Hurricane victories against Florida were William Albanese and Gabriel Flores, who defeated Luke Johnson in three sets (3-6, 6-2, 6-2) and Billy Federhofer in straight sets (6-4, 6-3), respectively. The Canes weren't as successful in doubles, losing all three matches 8-2, 8-1 and 7-3 against the Gators.

UM's matchup against Bethune-Cookman was lopsided, all but one singles match was won in straight sets for the Canes. In doubles, the Hurricanes also opened with solid play. A team of Wilfredo Gonzalez and Marco Stancati combined to defeat Juan Varon and Seve Day, 8-3. Minutes later Omar Aly and William Albanese downed Kip Jackson and Gilbert Kibet in another 8-3 doubles victory over the Wildcats.

Newcomer William Albanese looks to continue his impressive start to his Hurricane career. In the tournament last weekend the freshman won three out of his four events, including a convincing singles victory over Florida's Luke Johnson in an intense three-set match.

Louisiana-Lafayette, whose first match of the season comes against the Hurricanes this weekend, looks to win the first of two matches against the Canes this spring. UM will battle Louisiana-Lafayette again at the Neill Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables on Feb. 8.

No. 4 Ohio State kicked off its dual season last week when they hosted the Futures Tournament at the Varsity Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes continued their domination at home by sweeping Xavier, 7-0, and routing Xavier, 6-1, pushing their home winning streak to 150 consecutive wins.

After getting swept by Wake Forest, ETSU responded last Sunday by defeating Oklahoma State, 4-2, giving them its first win of the season. The Bucs started out the match 0-2, but came back to score four straight points and clinching the win. ETSU is currently 1-1 on the season.

More than 60 schools are competing across the nation in this weekend's ITA tournament. The winners of each host site will then be invited to fulfill one of the 15 vacant spots in the ITA National Men's Indoor Championship, which will be hosted by the University of Washington next month.

The 15 host sites were determined in order by their final ITA poll ranking of 2012. At each site, three visiting teams will travel to make up a four-team tournament, where the host school will face the No. 4 seed and the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds will face each other on the first day. Winners of each match will compete the following day for an invite to the championship tournament in February.

For live stats and results of the ITA Kickoff Weekend tournament, visit ITATennis.com or follow the ITA on Twitter at Twitter.com/ITATennis.

For more information on the University of Miami men's tennis team, log on to HurricaneSports.com. To follow the UM men's tennis team socially, visit Twitter.com/CanesMensTennis and facebook.com/MiamiHurricanesMensTennis.

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