Alcorn tennis thriving under Dodgen

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 11, 2000

Alcorn State tennis coach Tony Dodgen has a problem –&160;but it’s one he doesn’t mind a bit. He cannot be in two places at one time.

The Alcorn men’s tennis team is competing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at LSU this weekend, while the Lady Braves tennis team is in Nashville, Tenn., at Vanderbilt University this weekend competing in first round NCAA play.

Both Alcorn State tennis teams captured the Southwestern Athletic Conference championships.

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Dodgen will be with the men’s team in Baton Rouge, La., when it faces LSU beginning today, while graduate assistant coach Mark Johnson is in Nashville for the Lady Braves’ first round match against Vanderbilt.

&uot;We discussed this at the first of the year about the possibility of this happening,&uot; Dodgen said. &uot;There are certainly a lot worst problems in the world.&uot;

Alcorn’s men finished 17-7 in Dodgen’s third year, winning the SWAC&160;title for the second straight year to get the automatic bid.

Alcorn lost to LSU 4-0 last year.

&uot;We didn’t do that bad,&uot; Dodgen said. &uot;We lost too quickly. We have to get a better start from the bottom of our lineup. We’re going to try and start off strong and see what happens.&uot;

Junior Misha Frolov of Voronez, Russia, won the SWAC singles champion, defeating teammate Ronald Theodore in the championship match.

&uot;Misha is a very good serve-and-volley player,&uot; Dodgen said. &uot;The key to his game against LSU will be if he is able to make some returns with his tophand.&uot;

Alcorn State’s women’s team is the first women’s squad from the Southwestern Athletic Conference to participate in the NCAA tennis tournament.

Alcorn State enters this tournament with a 16-7 overall record under Dogden, who earned SWAC coach of the year honors for the first time with the women.

Alcorn made history by becoming the first school to capture both the men’s and women’s conference championships in the same year.

&uot;I’m happy we reached our goals,&uot; Dodgen said. &uot;It’s really helped our program. We’re getting tremendous inquiries every day on the Internet, We’re really concentrating on having a good Web site with all of our information on the site. It’s been helpful.&uot;