BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- The WKU men's tennis team will renew an old Ohio Valley Conference rivalry on Friday, as the Hilltoppers travel to Austin Peay for the 61st all-time meeting with the Governors.
The history between the two programs goes all the way back to the 1963 season when WKU and Austin Peay met for the first time. The Hilltoppers and the Governors went on to face off in 32 consecutive seasons leading up to the 2001 season. WKU made the move to the Sun Belt Conference in 1983, but continued to make a match with Austin Peay a yearly occurance.
The Hilltoppers and the Governors met in Clarksville, Tenn., last season, with the Governors sweeping both the singles and the doubles portion of the match in a 5-0 win. WKU's last win over Austin Peay came in a 6-1 win in Clarksville on February 18, 2009.
WKU (0-1) is coming off a 6-1 season-opening loss to Lipscomb on January 27. Lance Freeman was the lone Hilltopper to pick up a win over the Bison, as Lipscomb took five of the six singles and swept all three doubles. The Hilltoppers, however, have not lost the second match of the season since 2007, winning four straight.
Austin Peay (1-1) is coming off a home win over Belmont on January 25 after falling in the season opener to Louisville. Both the Governors and the Hilltoppers will have enjoyed over two weeks off leading up to Friday's match.
WKU and Austin Peay are scheduled to get under way from the Governors Indoor Tennis Center at 2:00 p.m. (CT) on Friday in Clarksville.
WKU vs. Austin Peay News and Notes
- WKU and Austin Peay first met back in 1963 when WKU was a member of the Ohio Valley Conference. The two programs met in 32 consecutive seasons leading up to 2001 and have met a total of 60 times since 1963. WKU joined the Sun Belt Conference in 1983.
- WKU and Austin Peay have split the last 12 meetings between the two programs. WKU's last win over Ausitn Peay came on February 18, 2009 - a 6-1 win in Clarksville.
- WKU has gone 5-5 in the last 10 matches played on the road against Austin Peay.
- The Hilltoppers fell in Clarksville, 5-0, on February 12 last season. Austin Peay swept all singles and doubles.
- WKU went 2-6 in the month of February in 2011 after going 4-1 in 2010.
WKU Individual Notes
- Hilltopper newcomers Josh Smith, J.T. Closi and Brody Freeman all made their WKU debuts in the season opener against Lipscomb. Smith played from the No. 1 singles spot in his first official match.
- Junior Lance Freeman picked up the lone Hilltopper win in the opener against Lipscomb. The win gave Freeman 23 wins for his career and gave him an above .500 record in four different singles positions.
- 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 made 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.