By Austin Ferrer
Looking for its first win of the spring season, the Samford men’s tennis team (0-4) opens a three-match home stand on Wednesday at 2 p.m. against UAB (2-3) at the Darwin C. Hardison Courts.
The ‘Dogs host the Blazers after playing three of the past four matches away from home. Samford looks to bounce back after Georgia State defeated the Bulldogs 5-1 in Atlanta last Saturday.
After defeating Jacksonville State at home on Feb. 8, UAB travels to Samford, seeking their first road victory of the spring season.
Samford promises a tough fight, as the past three meetings between the Blazers and the ‘Dogs have been decided by only one match.
“UAB is always an exciting and competitive match for us,” junior Fares Kilani said. “Because they’re our rivals, we always have an extra fire in us to beat them.”
Samford will continue their home stretch on Saturday against the Lipscomb Bisons (6-2) and on Sunday against the nationally ranked Kentucky Wildcats (4-6).
Hoping to draw supporters for a key match against Lipscomb on Saturday, the Bulldogs will be giving away men’s tennis T-shirts and pizza to the first 100 fans who donate $5 to the men’s tennis program.
“We’ve been working hard on rounding up a lot of people for our match Saturday against Lipscomb,” freshman Jake Faundez said. “It’s going to be an energetic, loud and exciting environment. I’m looking forward to seeing the turnout.”
The Bisons are 6-2 for the first time since 2006 and are currently riding a five-match win streak after defeating Austin Peay 4-3 in their last outing.
The Wildcats began the season ranked 18th in the nation, but travel to Samford ranked 27th after losing six of their last eight matches.The ‘Cats halted their six-match losing streak on Saturday with sweeping victories over Northern Kentucky and Morehead State.
First serve for the match against Lipscomb is scheduled for 2 p.m., while the match against Kentucky will start at 10 a.m. Admission is free for all of the matches.