The Drake men’s tennis team will return home this upcoming weekend to compete in the Drake Hidden Duals.
Prior to this competition, Drake men’s tennis has competed in several events, such as the Drake Invite, the Milwaukee Tennis Classic, the ITA All-American Championships, the Bulldog Invite and the ITA Central Regional Championships.
The Bulldogs have had some positive results across the board at those tournaments, one of which being when junior Jeremy Schifris defeated the number one ranked ITA singles player in the nation. Schifris was the first Bulldog to ever advance to the round of 16 at the All-American Championships.
Fellow teammates Matija Matic and Oliver Johansson advanced to the semifinals of doubles at the ITA regional Championships. Schifris also advanced to the round of 16 in the singles competition.
The Bulldogs will take on three other teams currently in their conference in the upcoming competition. These include the University of Denver, Illinois State University and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
The format for this event will be very similar to dual matches. Drake will play each of the three schools listed in doubles and singles, although the order of play for doubles and singles will be out of order.
The tournament will start with a round of singles between Denver and Illinois State at 9 a.m. This will be followed by Drake vs. Illinois State in doubles at 1:30 p.m. and Denver vs. Nebraska-Omaha in doubles at the same time. After the doubles competition, the Bulldogs will take on Denver at 4 p.m. in singles and then again in doubles after singles are completed.
The second day of the competition will start at 10 a.m. with Drake playing Illinois state in singles. After the singles completion, Denver will play Omaha in both singles and doubles at 12:30 p.m. At 4 p.m., the Bulldogs will come back to the courts and play against Nebraska-Omaha in both singles and doubles to conclude the tournament for Drake.
Both Nebraska-Omaha and Illinois State will play one more dual match against each other on Sunday morning at 10 a.m.
Redshirt sophomore Matija Matic shared his thoughts on competing at home this weekend, describing it as a great opportunity to get the team some wins.
“It has been a couple of weeks since we have competed at home,” Matic said. “The team is ready to get some wins for Drake and get in some quality matches against the schools that are coming.”
Drake Men’s tennis won the Summit League conference tournament last season, which the teams attending this event competed in last year.
Junior Markus Bolin explained how the Bulldogs are preparing for their upcoming competition, focusing on hard practices.
“The team will have some great matches this weekend against the other teams that are coming to Drake,” Bolin said. “The goal for this weekend is to win all three dual matches, and to win the tournament. We have been working hard in practice these past couple of weeks and are ready to compete”.
This will be the second to last fall tournament that the Bulldogs have here at Drake University. The event following the Drake Hidden Duels will be a UTR event that will take place the weekend of Dec. 3 at Drake.