The Air Force men’s doubles team of senior Lance Wilhelm and sophomore Grant Taylor won their first match in the qualifying draw of the 2012 ITA All-American Tennis Championships Tuesday in Tulsa, Okla. The Falcon duo, one of 128 teams competing for eight spots in the main draw, defeated Johan Backstrom and William Kallberg from the University of Mississippi, 9-8(3).
“This is a huge win for Air Force tennis,” said head coach Dan Oosterhous. “Mississippi finished last year as the #14 team in the NCAAs and this doubles team was a big part of their success. Lance and Grant getting this win at the All-American tourney is a great sign of the progress we are making. They have another great opportunity tomorrow to represent the Air Force Academy and I’m excited to see how far they can go.”
Wilhelm and Taylor, who received a first-round bye, will play Anis Ghorbel and James McKie of Drake
University in the third round on Wednesday, Oct. 3. Ghorbel and McKie are seeded 16th in the qualifying draw.
Earlier Tuesday, Wilhelm lost to Jeff Mullen of Oregon, 7-6(8), 6-3 in the consolation bracket of the singles qualifying draw.