Denton, Texas — Defending Sun Belt Conference champion Middle Tennessee eliminated the Western Kentucky University men's tennis team, 4-0 in Thursday's opening round of the Sun Belt Conference Championships in Denton, Texas.
The Blue Raiders claimed the doubles point and proceeded to win three-straight singles to secure the 4-0 win and advance to Friday's semifinal round against third-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette.
WKU closes out the 2012 season with a 7-11 overall record, increasing its win total by one from 2011. The Hilltoppers got seven wins from the No. 1 spot out of newcomer Josh Smith, after WKU only managed one singles win from No. 1 in 2011. Smith was one of four Hilltoppers to record seven or more singles wins this season, with freshman Andrew Fish leading the WKU charge with a team-best 9-4 record in singles play.
Brody Freeman and Lance Freeman closed out the year with an unblemished 8-0 doubles record after their match on Thursday went unfinished. The duo was formed in the middle of the season, as the Freeman's went 5-0 during a road swing through Alabama.
Seniors Arul Selvan and Craig Kirchgessner each played in their final match in a WKU uniform on Thursday. Selvan finishes his season with six singles wins, while Kirchgessner came on strong down the stretch, winning four of six to close out the year.
Head coach Jeff True ended the season just four wins shy of his 250th career win at the helm of the WKU men's program. True has accumulated 359 career combined wins with both the Hilltoppers and the Lady Toppers, as True recently concluded his 12th season leading the Lady Toppers.
#53 Middle Tennessee 4, WKU Men's Tennis 0
Apr 19, 2012 at Denton, Texas
1. Davis, Ben (MT) vs. Josh Smith (WKUM) 6-2, 2-1, unfinished
2. Langley, Matthew (MT) def. Arul Selvan (WKUM) 6-1, 6-2
3. Lang, Christoph (MT) vs. Lance Freeman (WKUM) 6-1, 3-2, unfinished
4. Zito, Ettore (MT) def. Craig Kirchgessner (WKUM) 6-2, 6-0
5. Edwards, Forrest (MT) vs. Andrew Fish (WKUM) 3-6, 3-2, unfinished
6. Pippos, Dimitri (MT) def. Brody Freeman (WKUM) 6-0, 6-3
1. Born, Yannick/Brand, Marlon (MT) def. Josh Smith/Arul Selvan (WKUM) 8-1
2. Davis, Ben/Lang, Christoph (MT) def. Craig Kirchgessner/Andrew Fish (WKUM) 8-1
3. Zito, Ettore/Langley, Matthew (MT) vs. Brody Freeman/Lance Freeman (WKUM) 7-0, unfinished
WKU Men's Tennis 7-11
Middle Tennessee 17-7; National ranking #53