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Golden Eagle tennis team opens spring schedule this weekend

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech tennis team will begin its 2011 dual match season on the road this weekend, playing No. 39 Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee.

The schedule starts Saturday at 9 a.m at Vanderbilt University, listed  39th in the preseason USTA/ITA national rankings. Tech plays again Sunday at noon facing Middle Tennessee at Nashboro Village.

Head Coach Kenny Doyle begins his second spring season at Tech as he takes eight players to compete this weekend. Of the eight players scheduled to travel, six are returnees, including two seniors, three juniors and one sophomore. Doyle will also bring two players who are new additions to the team this spring, freshmen Vasily Emereev from Russia and Murilo deOliviera from Brazil.

The two seniors, Lloyd Harris and Josh Girling, lead the way for Tech at the start of the spring season, both showing impressive results during the seven tournaments in the fall.

Girling ended the fall season with a 10-5 singles record. His winning streak began early in the season when he made it to the finals of the UNCG Invitational. The following weekend he competed in the Indiana University Invitational where he swept four straight set victories to capture the second flight championship. At the Southern Intercollegiate Championships, Girling had a big win over 6th seeded Christian Blocker from Miami.

Harris also showed promise for Tech in the fall season with a 3-0 doubles record. Teamed with junior James Crawford, the pair took the third flight of doubles at the UTC Fall Classic.

Junior Justin Kirstein, who can also be a dominant player for the Golden Eagles, ended his fall season with a 6-5 singles record. Kirstein captured the A2 singles flight of the UNCG Invitational in the fall, as well as a win in the Southern Intercollegiate Championships.

Junior Alex Chen and sophomore Arturo Santa Ruiz round out Tech’s lineup this weekend.