April 18, 2003
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Tulane University will meet TCU in the championship match of the 2003 Conference USA Men's Tennis Tournament on Saturday at noon at Helfaer Tennis Stadium. The Green Wave, No. 19 in the country, cruised to a 4-0 shutout victory over 53rd-ranked Louisville in the semifinals on Friday afternoon.
TCU, ranked No. 26 in the nation, defeated No. 40 South Florida in the other semifinal. South Florida was the defending champion.
The win by the Green Wave sets up the second Tulane-TCU tennis final in less than a week. On Tuesday, the Wave women defeated the Horned Frogs in the C-USA Women's Tennis Championship at Tulane's Goldring Tennis Stadium.
"It is about us, if we play every point to the best of our ability, we will take whatever comes," said Tulane head coach Robert Klein. "If we play well and they are able to beat us, then good for them. I know we will play every point."
In the semifinal match against Louisville, Tulane (18-5) swept the doubles point to open the afternoon. The Michael Kogan/Victor Romero combo, ranked No. 8 in the country, had an 8-4 win over Cody Conley and Jakib Gustafsson in the No. 1 spot. The No. 2 match clinched the doubles point when the Wave duo of Goran Vasiljevic and Dmitriy Koch defeated Matt Mayer and Harry Walsh, 8-5.
"We played well today," Klein said. "Again we were impressive at No. 2 doubles. One doubles went down a break early, but they stepped it up to win."
The Green Wave cruised through singles play with three straight-set victories. Kogan, who is ranked No. 7 in the nation, was first to claim a win in singles play when he took the No. 1 match, 6-1, 6-2 over Conley. Kogan, who has won 10 matches in a row, improves to 19-2 on the year in singles. He and Romero are 20-1 in doubles action.
"The good part is that Louisville won the first set at three and four [singles]," Klein added. "It was close, but we were battling back in those when we clinched. The three singles matches we won, we won fairly handily."
Romero then clinched the victory with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Paulo Carvalho at No. 2 singles.
Tulane has now won eight straight matches; it was also the 13th win over a ranked foe for the Green Wave. With a victory, the Wave would earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It would be Tulane's seventh straight trip to the NCAAs.
April 18, 2003
Helfaer Tennis Stadium
No. 19 Tulane 4, No. 53 Louisville 0
1. #8 Kogan/Romero (Tulane) def. Conley/Jakib Gustafsson (Louisville): 8-4
2. Koch/Vasiljevic (Tulane) def. Mayer/Walsh (Louisville): 8-5
3. Lievano/Westerberg (Tulane) vs. Sebastian Aspillage/Nicodim (Louisville): Did not finish
1. #7 Michael Kogan (Tulane) def. Cody Conley (Louisville): 6-1, 6-2
2. #104 Victor Romero (Tulane) def. #124 Paulo Carvalho (Louisville): 6-3, 6-2
3. Dmitriy Koch (Tulane) vs. Octavian Nicodim (Louisville): Did not finish
4. Mattias Westerberg (Tulane) vs. Matt Mayer (Louisville): Did not finish
5. Jorge Lievano (Tulane) def. Jhonny Berrido (Louisville): 6-2, 6-1
6. Hannu Piiroinen (Tulane) vs. Harry Walsh (Louisville): Did not finish