ISU Men's Tennis Picked Fourth In MVC Preseason Poll
Head coach Cris James
Head coach Cris James

Jan. 27, 2009

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's tennis team was picked to finish fourth in Missouri Valley Conference play, as voted by league coaches in the MVC Preseason Poll released Monday. The Redbirds received 30 votes and were selected behind Southern Illinois and Wichita State, who both received 38 votes, and the conference favorite Drake (48 votes).

"We`re a young team and are continually improving," said head coach Cris James, whose Redbird team finished the 2007-08 season as the No. 5-seed in the State Farm MVC Tournament. "Right now, we're dealing with some injuries. In order for us to become the best we can, we have to get everyone healthy. We have time to do that before we see conference play later this spring."

Last weekend, the Redbirds competed as individuals at the 2009 State Farm MVC Individual Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, where Illinois State garnered two second-place finishes in both singles and doubles competition. In doubles, senior Daniel Tobar and partner Skip Span finished second in Flight 2 doubles, after falling to Guilherme Marsiglia and Ricardo Lau (Drake), 8-2, in the finals. The tandem of Filip Miljevic and Timon Reichelt also fell to a Drake team in the Flight 1 doubles final.

Miljevic and Span both won two matches in singles play before being stopped in the finals of their respective flights. Miljevic was defeated by Maor Zirkin (Drake) in Flight 1 and Span was topped by Eric West (Southern Illinois) in Flight 3.

Illinois State begins the team portion of its schedule with a dual-match Thursday, Jan. 28, against Eastern Illinois at the Evergreen Racquet Club in Bloomington, Ill. Competition will begin with doubles play at noon, followed by six singles matches.