Bulldogs Add Junior College & NCAA Division I Transfers For 2003-04 Campaign

FSU Men's TennisSecond-year Ferris State University men’s tennis head coach Kevin Brandalik announced today the addition of Kalamazoo Valley Community College transfer Francisco Gomez (Saltillo, Mexico/Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey) and NCAA Division I transfer Kyle Halberg (Eugene, Oregon/Sheldon) from the University of Oregon, beginning with the 2003-04 campaign.

“I’m extremely excited with the addition of Francisco and Kyle,” Brandalik said. “They’re both good tennis players and quality kids who should be an instant fit in our program. They have more experience and a higher maturity level than you find with typical incoming players.”

Gomez compiled a 13-3 overall singles record and a 7-10 doubles mark at the number one flights for Kalamazoo Valley (Mich.) Community College during the 2002-03 season. He attained both team Most Valuable Player Award accolades and received the school’s Dale B. Lake Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year Award for his academic and athletic achievements. The 5-11 Gomez guided the Cougars to a 16-7 overall record, a regional runner-up showing and a 12th place finish at the 2003 National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Championships (5/12-17) under head coach Darrell Davies. Gomez, who was selected the team’s Player of the Day following seven outings in 2002-03, previously attended Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo., during the 2001-02 campaign. The three-time (1998-00) prep state champion at Mexico’s Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey school also claimed runner-up honors as an international player at a tournament in Monterrey, Mexico.

“Francisco will be a solid player in the middle of our lineup,” said Brandalik. “We had the opportunity to see him compete against us last season and got a good feel for his talents. His international background is a strength and he made significant progress while he was at the junior college level.”

Halberg registered a 7-5 overall singles record and a 5-5 doubles ledger during his two-year (2001-03) career under head coach Chris Russell at Pacific-10 Conference member the University of Oregon, including a 4-2 singles mark and a 3-2 doubles record in 2002-03. The two-year letterwinner was 3-3 in singles and 2-3 in doubles as a freshman (2001-02) for the Ducks, who were ranked 59th overall in the final (5/27) 2003 Omni Hotels/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I national poll.

As a prepster, Halberg posted 7-0 singles and 8-0 doubles records in number one flight action en route to the 2001 Oregon School Activities Association Class 4A State Doubles Championship while at Sheldon High School. The two-time (2000-01) team captain was a three-time (1998, 2000-01) team Most Valuable Player Award recipient and twice earned district doubles championship honors. He led SHS to the 2001 OSAA Class 4A State Championship while garnering all-conference, all-state and academic all-state kudos. The 6-5 Halberg, who has served as a teaching instructor at the Eugene Swim and Tennis Club for seven years, was also a state doubles finalist in 2000.

“Kyle has outstanding credentials coming from a PAC-10 program and being considered one of the top three or four players in the Pacific Northwest,” Brandalik said. “He’s a big kid and our fast indoor courts really fit his style of play. We’re looking for him to contend for our top singles and doubles positions.”

The Bulldogs compiled an 18-7 overall record, made their ninth overall NCAA-II Tournament appearance and reached the national quarterfinal round for the sixth time during the 2002-03 campaign. Ferris also placed second in the 2003 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships (April 18-19) held at the Midland (Mich.) Community Tennis Center. FSU, which was ranked 27th in the final Omni Hotels/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II national poll, advanced to the 16-team single-elimination national round for the fourth-straight season by claiming one of two Great Lakes Regional Tournament (May 2-3) titles.

Ferris is slated to open the 2003-04 campaign Sept. 19-20 by hosting the Bulldog Team Invitational at FSU’s Racquet and Fitness Center in Big Rapids, Mich. The four-team tournament field includes Grand Valley State, Lake Superior State and Aquinas. Match times have not yet been announced.

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