Oct. 4, 2012
BEAUMONT – This weekend will mark a first of sorts for head coach Scott Shankles as the men’s tennis team prepares to play host for the Cardinal Classic at the Thompson Family Tennis Center.
“We’ve played two tournaments and I felt like we got better at Southern Miss, and now I’m real excited for this weekend,” Shankles said. “It’s a little different to be hosting a tournament. We’ve been putting everything together over the last couple weeks, and I think we’re ready for this weekend.”
The event will be the first fall tournament that Shankles has ever hosted, and he will be employing a unique format that will allow every match to count for more than the usual fall set-up.
“We’re doing a format that I haven’t been involved in as a player or a coach,” Shankles said. “We’re going to have a pool play tournament, with two pools of four in each flight with the winner of each pool playing for the championship. It allows the players to still win their flight even if they lose in the first round. In a draw, if you lose, some guys kind of lose a little bit of intensity or focus. I think it will help keep all the athletes focused from the beginning to the end.”
The top three flights will use the pool play format. The fourth flight and doubles events will use the more traditional compass draws.
The Cardinals will host a number of teams from around the region, including conference foe Nicholls. Louisiana, UTSA, UTPA and Rice will also have teams competing this weekend.
The first day of play at the Cardinal Classic will begin on Friday with the opening round of doubles matches at 9:00 a.m. Singles will run for the rest of the day and are set to start at 10:30 a.m.