March 14, 2014
BEAUMONT – The Lamar men’s tennis team holds a perfect record at home this season, and after an exhausting nine-match road swing, the Cardinals will be prepared to keep that streak alive as they welcome Rice to Thompson Family Tennis Center on Saturday morning.
LU (10-7), which will be playing its fifth match this week after doubleheaders in Kansas and Oklahoma, is keen to continue what is already one of the biggest turnarounds in school history. The Cards have won six more matches than last season’s edition, which is tied for the single-largest year-to-year improvement since the early 1990s.
One of the biggest reasons for that improvement has been the trio of Michael Feucht, Juuso Laitinen and Nikita Lis. Feucht became the first Card this season to reach the 10-win plateau earlier this week, and he now boasts a 10-6 singles record. Laitinen isn’t far behind with a 9-7 mark, and Nikita Lis owns the best winning percentage on the team with a 9-3 record.
Feucht and Laitinen are similarly successful in doubles, ranking as one of the top tandems in the Southland with a 10-3 mark.
Another freshman, Jeandre Hoogenboezem, has also been strong in doubles, teaming with Mikko Rajamaki for six victories.
Rajamaki, who despite being a junior, ranks as the most senior member of the team. He leads the veterans on the roster with six wins, and former All-Southland honoree Carl-Philip Lindqvist boasts of five. Both Trey Crysel and Steven McMullan have three victories, and Hoogenboezem has a pair.
Rice is entering Saturday with a 3-9 overall record. However, the Owls will be looking to come in with a little bit of momentum after snapping a seven-match skid with a 4-3 victory at No. 69 San Diego State last time out.
First serve at Thompson Family Tennis Center is scheduled for 11 a.m.