Feb. 1, 2002
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The 52nd-ranked San Diego State men's tennis team (2-0) begins what is the likely the most challenging month in school history with a Saturday afternoon match at second-ranked Stanford. Match time is set for noon at the Taube Family Tennis Center.
The Aztecs defeated two Mountain West Conference opponents en route to ITA Indoor Region VII Team Championship last weekend in Boise, Idaho. The Aztecs defeated 63rd-ranked New Mexico 6-1 on Friday and got past 69th-ranked Brigham Young 4-3 to claim the title. With the championship, the Aztecs will return to the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Louisville, Ky.
And who is the opponent in the first round of the indoor national championship? Stanford. In an odd scheduling quirk, the Aztecs will face the Cardinal twice in a six-day span. The tournament draw consists of 16 teams, the top eight based on national team rankings while the other eight consists of regional champions.
Strength Of Schedule
As if playing Stanford twice in a week was not difficult enough, the Aztecs also have upcoming matches with third-ranked UCLA and seventh-ranked Pepperdine. That gives the Aztecs at least four matches against the top seven teams in the country in a three-week period to open the month. SDSU will likely face more of the nation's elite in subsequent rounds of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship.
On A Run
The Aztecs have now won 10 straight regular-season matches, outscoring their opponents by a 52-16 margin.
Junior Oliver Maiberger was named the MWC's men's tennis player of the week for the period ending Jan. 29. It is Maiberger's eighth career player of the week honor. Last Friday, Maiberger defeated New Mexico's Divan Coetzee in No. 1 singles and teamed with Ryan Redondo to defeat Bart Scott and David Kowalski at No. 1 doubles. SDSU won the match 6-1. On Saturday, with a berth to the ITA National Indoor Team Championship on the line, Maiberger rallied from one-set down to defeat Brigham Young's Gert Vilms, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, to lift the Aztecs to a 4-3 victory.
In The Polls
Only team rankings were updated this week, with the Aztec men moving up one position from a preseason mark of 53rd to 52nd. That means singles and doubles rankings remained unchanged. Oliver Maiberger and Ryan Redondo, who claimed the ITA national indoor doubles title last fall, were rewarded with a number two preseason ranking in the ITA poll. The duo, which entered fall play ranked 46th, made the biggest jump in the rankings. Maiberger's solid singles play in the fall resulted in a boost in his individual rankings as well. The junior moved from 13th in the fall to 11th in the preseason spring rankings.