(WHAS11) -- The University of Louisville men’s tennis team will kick off the 2012-13 fall season at the annual Duke Fab Four Invitational at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C.
Singles and doubles matches begin Friday morning and run through the weekend, concluding with Sunday's singles championships. In addition to Louisville, the tournament field also includes: Duke, William & Mary, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Elon, Radford and VCU.
“We are excited to start this season,” said U of L head coach Rex Ecarma. “It will be interesting to see if the team can compete as well as they have trained. With a year under their belts, this group of sophomore will be more equipped this time around. Michael and Chris want to get a national ranking and this tournament should give them some opportunities.”
Sophomores Michael Lippens, Chris Simich, Sebastian Stiefelmeyer and Albert Wagner will be representing the Cardinals in this year’s Fab Four Invitational. Overall, 12 singles players set to compete this weekend received preseason singles rankings from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, with Duke's Henrique Cunha leading the way at No. 1. Other ranked players include Kentucky's Anthony Rossi (No. 12), Duke's Chris Mengel (No. 19), William & Mary's Jamie Whiteford (No. 43), VCU's Alexis Heugas (No.52), Kentucky's Panav Jha (No. 64), Louisville's Sebastian Stiefelmeyer (No. 70), Radford's Nicholas Sayer (No. 74), Duke's Raphael Hemmeler (No. 76), VCU's Max Wennakoski (No. 80), Duke's Fred Saba (No. 111), Louisville's Albert Wagner (No. 122) and Austin Powell of NC State (No. 125). In addition, Duke's Michael Redlicki was tabbed No. 1 in the ITA's top newcomer/freshman rankings.
In doubles, four teams received preseason rankings from the ITA, with Duke's tandem of Saba and Mengel leading the way at No. 15. Other ranked duos scheduled to participate in this weekend's action include Duke's Cunha/Hemmeler (No. 16), Alabama's Proskura/Taborga (No. 33) and VCU's Huegas/Wennakoski (No. 40).