Blue Raider tennis gets rematch with Tulane
Updated: Oct 2
By MTN Sports Reporter: Dixon Riggins
Blue Raider tennis gets a rematch with Tulane, a chance for doubles to bounce back in Alabama Four-In-The-Fall
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders men’s tennis team takes a trip to Tuscaloosa this weekend as they are set to compete in the Alabama Four-In-The-Fall Tournament.
The Blue Raiders are looking to bounce back from a Battle of the Beach tournament performance that saw doubles struggle with a 2-4 record in their matches.
Both wins came from the duo of Karim Al-Amin and Shu Matsuoka. Freshman Igor Mandou Berranger offered a bright spot with 2 singles wins in his first tournament as a Blue Raider.
MTSU prepares to compete against three teams that finished in the Top 50 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings. The host Alabama Crimson Tide finished last spring ranked No. 49, Louisville finished at No. 34, and Tulane finished as the No. 44 team in the nation.
The Blue Raiders have found early success against Tulane in the young 2023-24 season, going 3-1 in the singles matches at the Battle of the Beach with Matsuoka, Berranger, and Kristian Thomas notching victories. The doubles team split the two matches against the Green Wave, with the Matsuoka/Al-Amin duo getting a win on the final day of the tournament.
“Tulane is obviously a tough team, we see them a lot. We played them in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, played them three times last year and they’re well-coached.” Head coach Jimmy Borendame said on the opportunity to match up against the Green Wave for the second time this fall.
“I don’t judge it really as much until after the results. I think in practice we look a little good but it's always whether or not you execute what I want them to do in the matches.” Coach Borendame added on the preparation of the doubles team entering this weekend’s tournament.
The tournament is formatted in an 8-team bracket where each team sends four players to compete in pairs in doubles and singles matches. MTSU will send a “Blue team” consisting of Al-Amin and Matsuoka who are set to match up against Tulane once again facing their “Green team.”
MTSU’s “White team,” Berranger and Thomas, will compete against host Alabama’s “White team.” The losers of each first-round match will play in a loser’s bracket where the winner claims fifth place in the tournament. After the first round, the four winners will compete in a single-elimination bracket where the losers will play in a 3rd-place match and the winners play for the championship.
The Four-In-The-Fall is the second of four fall tournaments the Blue Raiders will compete in before the regular season starts in the spring.
The Blue Raiders will begin play in this tournament Friday Sept. 29 and wrap up the weekend on Sunday Oct. 1.