BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — With last Thursday's match with Tennessee State canceled following a rain-soaked afternoon, the WKU men's tennis team will look to finally get back to playing a match, as the Hilltoppers are set to take on Tennessee State on Thursday in Nashville, Tenn., then Bellarmine on Sunday in Louisville, Ky.
The Hilltoppers haven't played a match since March 9, with Thursday marking the first match for WKU in 20 days.
The Hilltoppers (4-6), who started the season 0-5, won four of five during a stretch of five matches in five days in Alabama, concluding the trip with a win over Alabama A&M on March 9. WKU's only loss on the trip came in a 4-3 defeat to Alabama-Huntsville.
WKU has had plenty of success against both Tennessee State and Bellarmine, as the Hilltoppers are a perfect 25-0 all-time against Tennessee State and 21-3 all-time against Bellarmine, including winning 18 in a row over the Knights.
WKU and Tennessee State are scheduled to get underway at 3:00 PM (CT) on Thursday, with Sunday's match with Bellarmine set to begin at 11:00 AM (CT).
WKU (4-6) at Tennessee State (0-4)
March 29, 2012 • 3:00 PM (CT)
Tennessee State University • Nashville, Tenn.
WKU vs. Tennessee State News and Notes
• WKU will look to remain undefeated against Tennessee State, as the Hilltoppers are a perfect 25-0 against the Tigers dating back to the 1991 season. WKU is 15-1 in matches played at Tennessee State, with the only loss coming this season to Detroit. The Hilltoppers played Detroit at TSU before hitting the road for Alabama on March 4.
• The Hilltoppers picked up a pair of 6-1 wins over Tennessee State in 2011, with the last coming on April 3 in Nashville, Tenn. WKU swept the doubles portion of the match and took five of the six singles, losing only at the top singles spot.
• WKU and Tennessee State will meet for the 15th consecutive season. The Hilltoppers and the Tigers are scheduled to meet twice this season, mark the fifth-straight season the two programs have met twice in a season.
• WKU has seven scheduled matches left in the 2012 season before heading to Texas for the Sun Belt Conference Championships. The Hilltoppers went 5-1 against the remaining opponents in 2011, with the only loss coming to Cumberland.
WKU (4-6) at Bellarmine (5-9)
April 1, 2012 • 11:00 AM (CT)
Bellarmine University • Louisville, Ky.
WKU vs. Bellarmine News and Notes
• WKU has won 18-straight over Bellarmine, dating back to the 1962 season. The Hitlloppers have not lost at Bellarmine since the 1958 season.
• Despite falling at the No. 1 singles position, the Hilltoppers still picked up wins in five of the six singles and swept the doubles portion of the match en route to a 6-1 win in Bowling Green last season. The win was WKU’s 18th in a row over Bellarmine.
• Sunday’s meeting will be the 25th all-time meeting between the two programs, as the two first met back in 1956. WKU holds a 21-3 all-time record against Bellarmine, including winning each of the last 18 matches.
WKU Individual News and Notes
• Sophomore Josh Smith has seemingly won the No. 1 singles spot in the Hilltopper lineup, winning six in a row from the top singles position to improve to a team-best 6-2 in singles play. WKU managed just one win from the No. 1 spot last season, finishing 1-16. Smith’s six wins in a row are the most since 2010, when Thomas Krug also ran off six in a row. Krug finished that season 16-2 from the No. 1 singles position.
• Senior Arul Selvan has won three singles in a row, giving him 31 for his career. Selvan hit 30 career wins on March 8 against Alabama State, taking down Lex Pierre, 7-5, 6-1.
• Junior Lance Freeman is also closing in on 30 career singles wins, currently sitting at 26 for his career. Freeman has won two in a row and is currently 4-6 in 2012.
• Junior Lance Freeman played in his 30th-consecutive match against Murray State. Currently, Freeman has suited up in 36-straight matches, trailing only Arul Selvan’s 42 consecutive starts among active WKU players. For their careers, Selvan leads all Hilltoppers with 64 career starts, followed by Freeman with 47.
• Junior Lance Freeman and cousin Brody Freeman have been become quite the doubles tandem of late, as the Freeman’s went a perfect 5-0 in doubles play during the spring break road swing in Alabama. The doubles pairing was the first this season for the two. Brody is now 5-2 in doubles in 2012, while Lance sits at 6-3.
• Freshmen Brody Freeman and Andrew Fish have seen extensive action on a relatively young Hilltopper tennis team. Fish and Freeman have gone a combined 8-7 in singles play and 10-4 in doubles play. Fish owns the second-best singles record on the team at 5-1, trailing only Josh Smith’s 6-2 mark.