Men's Tennis to Open Season at Notre Dame Invitational
Alexander Pelaez
Alexander Pelaez

Sept. 22, 2011

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's tennis team will open the 2011-12 season Friday at the Notre Dame Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind. The Redbirds will compete against Notre Dame, Marquette, Western Michigan, and Cleveland State. Play is set to begin at 9 a.m. Friday and will end Sunday.

Head coach Cris James will look to upperclassmen Skip Span and Alexander Pelaez for their experience and leadership.

"Span and Pelaez have been doing a good job bringing all the new guys into the team environment," James said. "I know these two are motivated to have big years individually, and they have been working hard at it."

The tournament this weekend will be an opportunity for sophomores Muddappa Appanervanda and Tuomas Manner as well as for freshmen Jusso Ojanen, Willi Peter, and Jacob Wilson to show their skills.

"The underclassmen are doing well," James said. "As far as the new guys, I have seen them start to get more comfortable in the last week or two as they have adapted to their new schedules, teammates and coaches. We are still early in their development process so I am not 100% sure what to expect this weekend, but I know they will be competing hard."

James is going into this tournament with a positive attitude and an open mind.

"I feel good about the work we are putting in," James said. "I am eager to see some of the new guys play competitively. It will give us an idea of where we need to go from here with their development. With our team being so young and it being the first tournament of the year, as well as first college matches for half the team, I really do not know what to expect results wise. As long as we go out and play our hardest, we can be satisfied." Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.