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Men's Tennis opens fall season with Dale Short Shootout Friday

Ben Davis and Christoph Lang to play in UVA Ranked Plus One Invitational this weekend

September 20, 2012 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's tennis team opens its fall season this weekend with the Dale Short Shootout at Buck Bouldin Tennis Center. Four Blue Raiders - Yannick Born, Marlon Brand, Ettore Zito, and Tomas Legzdins - will take to the courts against players from UAB, Lipscomb, and Southern Illinois.

Middle Tennessee will also have two players playing in the UVA Ranked Plus One Invitational hosted by Virginia. Junior Ben Davis and sophomore Christoph Lang will represent the Blue Raiders in a tournament field that includes 16 schools. There are four 16-player singles draws and four eight-team doubles draws in the tournament. Davis was recently ranked No. 92 in the preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.

"This is a unique weekend where Tanner (Stump) and I both wish we could be at two places at the same time," said head coach Jimmy Borendame. "He's anxious to see how the young guys do at the Shootout and I'm thinking about what's happening at Virginia as well. It's a huge opportunity for Ben Davis and Christoph Lang to get nationally-ranked wins, continue to push Middle Tennessee up in the individual rankings, and make a splash for possible NCAA implications later in the spring."

For the four players playing in the Dale Short Shootout, this weekend is a chance for them to get more match play. With a team that has five underclassmen, Borendame says this is a good opportunity for his players to get more match experience.

"The format of the tournament is unique in that it's almost identical to what we play in the spring," Borendame said. "We have three sophomores and one freshman here at the Dale Short Shootout, so this is going to be great to get these guys three singles and three doubles matches under their belt."

"Every match is important," said sophomore Ettore Zito. "In the fall, you play not only for the team but to win your tournament draw. In the spring, you play for the team and for your match points. We use these matches in the fall to improve rankings or get ranked."

The Blue Raiders will be in action at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and Sunday at Buck Bouldin Tennis Center and 9 a.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.

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