HARRISONBURG, Va., March 27, 2012 - The James Madison men's tennis team hits the road for four matches in five days, beginning on Wednesday when the Dukes travel to Radford. Following the match with the Highlanders, JMU will travel to Norfolk for a match against Delaware on Friday. On Saturday the team will take on William and Mary in Williamsburg before rounding out the trip in Richmond to take on 37th-ranked VCU on Sunday.
JMU enters competition at 5-6 on the season and 0-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play. The Dukes are coming off back-to-back wins over St. Francis (Pa.) and Liberty. Against LU, the Dukes trailed 3-1 in the match before three straight singles victories gave JMU the win. The Dukes are led in singles play by juniors Ryan Pool (Melbourne, Australia/Braemar(Chattanooga)) and Greg Vladimirsky (Coral Springs, Fla./Broward Virtual), both with 8-4 records. After battling injury most of his career, senior Tommi Nissinen (Oulu, Finland/Kastellin Lukio) is beginning to be a factor in the Dukes' game as well. His singles record of 6-3 is second-best for JMU.
Radford brings a three-match winning streak into Wednesday's competition. RU is 10-3 on the season, including a 5-2 win over then No. 45 Portland in Oregon on March 9. The Highlanders also beat South Carolina State (6-1) on March 20 and Coastal Carolina (6-1) on March 26 to get to three consecutive wins. Radford is led by Patrick O'Keefe (11-1 singles), Thomas Dehaen (9-3 singles) and 83rd-ranked singles player, Nicholas Sayer (9-1 singles), who has won nine straight singles matches. The match between the Dukes and the Highlanders is set for 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
On Friday, JMU takes on the Delaware Blue Hens in Norfolk, Va. The neutral site competition will be played at Old Dominion and is slated for a 2 p.m. start time. The Blue Hens are 4-5 overall, including a 1-1 mark in CAA competition this spring. Their conference win came at home over Hofstra (6-1) on March 18 while their loss came at the hands of ODU (7-0) on March 25. Before taking on the Dukes on Friday, Delaware will play matches against Norfolk State on Tuesday, March 27 and VCU on Wednesday, March 28.
Following Friday's contest in Norfolk, JMU will head to Williamsburg, Va. to take on William and Mary. The Tribe are 9-12 on the season, including a 1-0 mark in the CAA after defeating George Mason 6-1 on Feb. 26. William and Mary has played seven nationally-ranked opponents this season, losing all seven matches, and most recently fell to No. 63 Clemson, 4-0, on March 21. Competition with William and Mary is set to start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 31.
Madison finishes off its road trip with a stop in Richmond, Va. and a match against 37th-ranked VCU. The Rams are 15-4 on the season with a 1-0 mark in the CAA, having defeated Old Dominion 7-0 on Feb. 26. The Rams boast the No. 65 and No. 122 singles players in the nation in Alex Huegas and Max Wennakoski, respectively. VCU is currently on a three-match win streak after defeating Temple 6-1, South Florida 6-1 and, most recently, Cornell 4-1. The Rams will take on Delaware on Wednesday, March 28 before meeting up with JMU. The Dukes are set to take on the Rams at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 1.
All rankings are as of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27.