BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - For the 19th time in the last 12 seasons WKU and Lipscomb will meet in a men's tennis match, marking the 2012 season opener for the Hilltoppers.
Friday's match will mark the first time WKU has opened the season away from Bowling Green since a 2008 opener in Louisville, Ky., against the Louisville Cardinals. WKU and Lipscomb last met in a season-opening match back in 1968, when the Hilltoppers shut out the Bison, 7-0.
WKU and Lipscomb have met in 12 consecutive seasons, with the Bison holding an 11-7 advantage in the 18 matches played during that span.
Friday's match will begin a string of five consecutive road matches to start the 2012 season, before WKU's home opener against SIU-Edwardsville slated for March 2.
The Hilltoppers return all but one letterwinner from the 2011 squad that went 6-12, falling in the opening round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. WKU's six upperclassmen on the 2012 roster have combined for 78 career singles wins, including 41 wins from the three seniors on the team.
WKU was above .500 in all but one singles position in 2011, including a 10-7 mark from both the No. 3 and the No. 4 singles spot.
The Hilltoppers and the Bison are scheduled to get underway at 5:00 p.m. (CT) on Friday in Nashville, Tenn., along with the Lady Toppers who are slated to follow the men's action.
WKU vs. Lipscomb News and Notes
- WKU will play its first season-opening road match since 2008 - a 7-0 loss to Louisville.
- This will mark the 12th consecutive season that WKU has faced Lipscomb.
- Over the 11-year span, WKU and Lipscomb have met a total of 18 times, with Lipscomb holding an 11-7 advantage in those matches.
- WKU is 2-3 in the last 11 years in matches played at Lipscomb, with the last win coming in 2008.
- WKU has won four of five over the Bison in the last four years, losing only a 6-1 decision in 2011.
- WKU is 8-2 in its last 10 matches played in the city of Nashville.
- Senior Arul Selvan is just three wins away from reaching the 30-win plateau for his career. He currently boasts a 27-19 career mark in three years at WKU.
- Bobby Whitmer and Lance Freeman, who both tied for the team lead with nine singles wins in 2011, both return as juniors in 2012.
- Another member of the Freeman family of tennis athletes will make a WKU debut in 2012. Brody Freeman, cousin to both Lance and Morgan Freeman, is one of four newcomers on the Hilltopper roster.
- Two more members of the Hilltopper freshmen class, Kento and Yushi Okita, are brothers set to make their WKU debuts.
- Kaleb Ball was the only freshman to see action for the Hilltoppers in 2011. He finished fourth on the team with six singles wins and tied for second with seven doubles wins last season.