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Blue Raiders preparing to open spring season

First dual match Saturday 1 p.m. at Nashboro Village

January 21, 2011 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's tennis team will open the spring 2011 season this weekend at Nashboro Village, its home indoor courts, in Nashville, Tenn.

The Blue Raiders will look drastically different this spring than a year ago as four of the seven players on the team have never competed in dual match play.

"I am looking forward to the guys getting some match experience since so many of them have never played dual matches before," head coach Jimmy Borendame said. "We have been working on getting in shape and back into a routine. I have also been trying different doubles combinations to see who works well with whom on the court since we have so many new guys."

Sophomore Shaun Waters returns as one of the most successful members of the team from a year ago. Last season, Waters posted a 10-12 dual match record and was 7-4 at the No. 4 position. Waters will be looking to improve upon that performance headed into his second collegiate season.

"Shaun has looked very strong since returning from winter break. I am looking for the returning players to emerge as leaders on this team and he is near the top in that category now with the way he has been practicing," Borendame said. The Blue Raiders will also be looking to returners senior Kyle Wishing and junior Matthew Langley to add assistance to the team with their dual match experience.

Freshman Elliot Barnwell is the only newcomer to the team who participated in fall play for the Blue Raiders. The Warwickshire, England native will look to use his early collegiate experience to his advantage when dual match action begins as he already has an idea on how the competition could look.

Freshmen Ben Davis, Joseph Cohen and Dimitri Pippos joined the Blue Raiders at the beginning of the spring semester and have been working in practice on learning about their teammates as well as the collegiate tennis game. The performance of the four freshmen as well as the core returners will be a key component to Middle Tennessee's success this season.

Middle Tennessee opens action on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. against UT-Chattanooga at Nashboro Village. Then on Sunday, Jan. 23 the team will play host to Tennessee Tech at noon. Fans are encouraged to attend all home matches at Nashboro Village. Live stats will also be available on goblueraiders.com.

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