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Hawaii Beat

For Saturday, January 1, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff


UH tennis hosts 3 ranked opponents

If next week's Rainbow Warrior Challenge was an open tennis tournament, Hawaii senior Dennis Lajola, No. 106 in the preseason college rankings, would be seeded eighth.

Lajola, a three-time All-WAC first-team selection, and the Rainbows host three ranked teams at the UH Tennis Complex, including NCAA runner-up Tennessee. Hawaii will tune up for a 1:30 p.m. match on Jan. 9 with the second-ranked Vols with No. 13 Louisville at 10 a.m. Friday and No. 14 Duke at 10 a.m. next Saturday.

Tennessee ended last season by losing to USC in the NCAA final. The Vols return Australian John-Patrick Smith, a senior ranked No. 1 in singles, who was the 2008 NCAA runner-up in singles and fell in the NCAA doubles final the past two seasons.

Tennessee also has two ranked sophomore singles players from Tennessee in Rhyne Williams (21) and Tennys Sandgren (83).

The Cardinals feature 10th-ranked Austen Childs, who fell in the NCAA final last season, and 63rd-ranked Simon Childs. Louisville won the Big East championship last season.

Duke has the preseason top-ranked doubles team in Henrique Cunha (No. 2 in singles) and Reid Carlton (45).

Lajola, the Rainbows' only ranked singles player, has lifted Hawaii to the past three Western Athletic Conference championships.

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