Feb. 26, 2008
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The USC Upstate tennis teams are about to enter one of their busiest weekend of the year, with the men playing four matches in three days and the women playing three in three days. The stretch includes the start of Atlantic Sun Conference play for both teams when Mercer comes to the USC Upstate Tennis Complex on Friday at 2 p.m.
The men's tennis team will head to Clemson for the Clemson Spring Classic on Saturday, playing matches against Florida A&M and The Citadel at the event before travelling to Rock Hill for a Sunday matchup with Winthrop. The women's tennis team will play A-Sun foe Kennesaw State on Saturday before heading to Winthrop with the men on Sunday.
Sneaking Up On Stefan
Senior Diana Martinez enters the week just one win shy of the Upstate tennis school record for combined wins, where she will tie Stefan Dumitrescu, a two-time Division II All-American for the men's program who posted a 119-32 overall record. Martinez posted a doubles win on Feb. 15 against Presbyterian to give her a 56-26 career doubles record and added a singles win against Georgia Southern on Feb. 24 to give her a 62-19 career singles record for a 118-45 overall record. Martinez already holds the Upstate tennis record for singles wins.
A dominating win at No. 1 singles by junior Sandy Franz over Bobby Lake helped the USC Upstate men's tennis team clinch a 5-2 win over Appalachian State on Wednesday. Franz won the match in typical methodical style, 6-2, 6-3, to become the 11th player in school history to reach 40 career wins. Franz joins current teammate, senior Sebastian Gonzales-Orbegoso, in the club.
Sophomore Renzo Airaldi, thanks to a come-from-behind win on Wednesday against Appalachian State's Ryan Brookshaw, 0-6, 7-5, 7-5, leaves him with a 19-3 record on the season, just one win from becoming the first player to reach 20 wins in a season at the Division I level. Airaldi, who posted a 13-2 record during the tournament season in the fall, needs just one win to become the 11th player in school history to win 20 singles matches in a season.
Junior Anna Novo already has recorded 17 singles wins on the season, which is already tied for ninth-best in school history. The Venezuelan junior has tallied an impressive 17-3 overall record thanks to a 12-2 fall and a 5-1 start in dual meets. A two-time Division II All-American, Novo has a chance at becoming one of just four players in school history to record 20 wins in a season this week and needs just five to break the school record of 22, set by herself and senior Diana Martinez during the 2006-07 season.
Going Over The Hill Together
Both juniors Anna Novo and Daniela Lovera posted their 40th career doubles win on Friday afternoon against Presbyterian. Novo, who also became the seventh player in school history to reach 90 combined wins with her 8-3 win over Abby Diminich and Virginia Waldron at No. 1 doubles with freshman partner Emilia Milovanovic, added her 51st career singles win later in the match to move into a tie for third in school history in singles wins. Lovera, who was injured during the first semester, posted her 40th career doubles win with senior partner Susana Hernandez, as they posted an 8-2 win over Kari Fuller and Brittany Lanford. The duo are two of the nine players in school history with 40 doubles wins, along with seniors Diana Martinez (56), Hernandez (54) and junior Maria Herrera (43).
Another Round Number
Senior Sebastian Gonzales-Orbegoso became the fourth player in the men's program's history to reach 50 career doubles wins, when he and junior partner Leandro Osorio, posted an 8-5 win over Presbyterian's Matthew Martin and Andrew Lee at No. 1 on Feb. 15. Gonzales-Orbegoso joined three former Division II All-Americans in the 50 doubles wins club in Diego Sist (2002-06, 50), Jose Luis Reyes (2001-05, 63) and Stefan Dumitrescu (2003-07, 71). With 46 singles wins in his career, Gonzales-Orbegoso is sixth in school history and could become just the fourth player in school history to reach 50 career singles wins with a perfect 4-0 week this week.
Head coach Alessandro De Marzo became the third coach in school history to reach 100 career wins with the women's teams win at Wofford on Feb. 7, joining Alan Ferguson (1988-97) and Tami Matheny (1998-2004) in the club. DeMarzo has helped USC Upstate rise to sights unseen, as he led the Spartan men to the 2007 NCAA Division II quarterfinals and took the women's team to the 2007 NCAA Division II Nationals for the first time in school history. DeMarzo has a 55-21 career record with the men's team and a 50-22 record in four years as the women's coach.