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January 03, 2002

USI Men's Tennis 2001-02 Spring Preview

The University of Southern Indiana menís tennis team has entered a new chapter in the history of its program. During the fall of 2001, Eagle fans saw that the future is bright.

In 2000-01, the Screaming Eagles won their third straight GLVC Championship and made a second straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

The Eagles tied the school record for wins in a season, posting their third straight 20-win campaign at 22-7. This was not the only record to be touched during the year.

Their success was led by three players who graduated last year, Andrew Majxner, Jeremy Richie, and Edgar Linares.

This fall a new group of Eagle netters have stepped up to protect the titles the previous classes have worked so hard to build.

In the last four seasons, USI has enjoyed an exceptional 37-1 record in the GLVC regular-season schedule, a .974 winning percentage. Including the victories from the GLVC Tournament, the record is a remarkable 48-2, a .960 winning percentage.

Senior Chris Crawford (Jeffersonville, Indiana) has stepped up to become the leader of the team. Crawford, who set the USI single-season record for combined victories at 28-6 a year ago, continued USIís dominance in the GLVC Fall Invitational by winning the Red Flight.

Stepping into the number one position is junior Paulus Halim (Indonesia). Halim, who was just 3-4 in the fall, played well in the ITA Mid-America Regional after being tapped as the 11th seed in the singles.

The pair also combined for a 3-3 record in doubles during the first half of the season.

Halim and Crawford are joined by senior Ethan Davis (Sullivan, Indiana) and junior Bhavesh Chadda (India).

Davis, who was 4-4 in the fall, is on the verge of catching Jeremy Richie for the USI all-time singles record. Davis has 64 career singles victories after the fall and needs just 10 wins to pass Richie. He has never had fewer than 19 victories as a collegiate player.

Chadda, who started the fall with a 1-2 record, played well in the Louisville Invitational to finish the first half of the season with a 4-3 record.

USIís only sophomore is record holder Weston Phillips (Henderson, Kentucky). Phillips set the USI singles season record for victories with a 28-4 overall in 2000-01. He played well in the fall with a 4-3 record.

In addition to Halim and Chadda, four-time GLVC Coach of the Year Jon Mark Hall has brought in three freshmen that will compete for the number six slot and to be on the doubles teams.

Hall, who has a career record of 107-43 (.713), 50-7 in the GLVC (.877), will look to freshmen Chris McCreight (Jeffersonville, Indiana), Evan Luttrell (Logansport, Indiana), and Brock Higgins (Odon, Indiana) to help keep USI on top of the conference.

Higgins, whose brother Chad played for USI in the 1990s, led the way for the freshmen with a 2-1 record during the fall. Luttrell posted a 1-2 record, while McCreight was 1-3.

In doubles, McCreight combined with Phillips to post a 2-2 record, while Higgins and Luttrell were 0-1.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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