"I expect Ralph to make a big impact during his senior year. He is one of the more talented players in the country. He is competing better in singles and doubles. With an improved serve, he should make the NCAA Tournament in either field this season."
Honors At Rice
2007 & 2008 All-Conference USA Doubles Team; 2008 Most Outstanding Doubles Team of C-USA Championship; 2007 All-Conference USA First Team; 2007 C-USA Player of the Week (March 6 & 13, 2007); 2006 All-Conference USA First Team; 2005-06 & 2006-07 C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll.
2007-08 Season (Senior)
Came away with an 8-11 singles mark holding down the No. 3 position ... joined Christoph Müller, Dennis Polyakov and Filip Zivojinovic for third place on the team securing two match-clinching points ... won four-consecutive decisions (Feb. 3-16) ... took down Chris Kearney of No. 10 North Carolina (Feb. 3) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 to clinch the match ... notched a trio of straight-set triumphs against Arizona's Peter Zimmer (Feb. 8), Vivek Subramanian of No. 24 Miami (Feb. 10) and Tobias Fanselow of No. 42 Old Dominion (Feb. 16) during streak ... earned a hard-fought 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over Achim Ceban of No. 50 San Diego State (March 3) for Rice's fourth point ... tacked on a 6-1, 6-4 win over East Carolina's Stephen Whitwell at the C-USA Tournament (April 18) ... unfinished with Alex Skrypko of No. 47 SMU (April 19) 7-6 (1), 6-7 (3), 1-1 in the semifinals ... picked up a retirement victory from Kriegler Brink of No. 34 TCU (May 9) at 5-5 in the first set of the NCAA Tournament ... teamed with Müller for an 8-6 record, including a 3-3 mark against nationally-ranked opponents as Rice's top doubles team ... duo earned All-Conference USA First-Team honors along with Outstanding Doubles Team of the C-USA Championships en route to a No. 28 final ranking and an NCAA Individual Doubles appearance ... wrapped up a team-high six doubles points, including a 9-8 (2) upset of No. 3 ranked Taylor Fogleman and Chris Kearney of No. 10 North Carolina (Feb. 3) ... also came through with hard-fought wins over ranked pairs from No. 43 College of William and Mary (Feb. 19) and No. 17 Florida State (March 11) ... ahead or tied in three matches at the C-USA Championships, including a 7-5 edge over No. 25 ranked Andy Connelly and Ross Cunningham of No. 9 Tulsa (April 20) ... knocked off Kriegler Brink and Emanu Brighiu of No. 34 TCU (May 9) 8-6 at the NCAA Tournament ... stopped on-serve at 5-5 against No. 9 ranked Kellen Damico and Ed Corrie of No. 7 Texas (May 10) ... compiled a 5-4 singles record in the fall ... notched a trio of qualifying wins to earn a spot in the main draw at the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championships (Oct. 1-3) ... upended No. 5 seed Luke Shields of Boise State 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in the opening round (Oct. 4) before dropping to South Alabama's Jack Baker in the Round of 32 (Oct. 5) ... also made Round of 32 at ITA/South Central Regional Championships (Oct. 20-23) ... tallied an 8-3 doubles mark teamed with fellow German Christoph Müller ... made a run to the finals at Baylor Invitational (Sept. 21-23) ... turned in a semifinal effort at Wilson/ITA South Central Regional Championships (Oct. 20-23).
2006-07 Season (Junior)
Knupfer notched a 17-12 record splitting time at the No. 2 and No. 3 singles positions en route to an All-Conference USA First Team singles pick ... compiled a 6-5 mark against ranked opponents ... opened a five-match singles winning streak by providing a 6-1, 7-5 win over No. 53 Milan Mihailovic in Rice's 4-3 upset at No. 16 Texas (Feb. 25) ... won C-USA Player of the Week (March 6) after advancing to the Round of 16 at the 118th Pacific Coast Doubles Championships with partner Tobias Scheil ... capped five-match winning streak and earned a 0-6, 6-3, 6-1 win to break a 3-3 tie at No. 72 San Diego (March 10) ... repeated as C-USA Player of the Week (March 13) ... notched back-to-back win over No. 108 Ricardo Soriano of Tulsa (April 7) and David Kuczer of SMU(April 13) ... played No. 1 doubles for most of the season with Tobias Scheil and earned an All-Conference USA Doubles Team selection ... came through with a 9-7 win at No. 35 Texas A&M (May 11) to secure doubles point in NCAA First Round ... recorded a 4-3 fall singles record after earning a preseason ranking of 52 ... advanced to the singles quarterfinals at the ITA South Central Regional Championships.
2005-06 Season (Sophomore)
Finished the year with a team-best 29-10 overall singles record and ranked 79th nationally ... began the fall by winning his first 10 matches, including taking the singles title at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and the South Carolina Fall Invitational ... reached the round of 16 at the Wilson/ITA South Central Regional Championships ... posted a 14-7 singles mark in dual action, going 10-4 at No. 3, including an upset of then-39th ranked Callum Beale of Texas ... added a 17-12 overall doubles mark, recording a 11-9 ledger with Filip Zivojinovic.
2004-05 Season (Freshman)
Matriculated at Rice in January 2005 ... won his first six and last five singles matches to finish 16-6 ... posted a perfect 3-0 record in singles at the WAC championship tournament ... went 4-4 in doubles play for the year ... played primarily at the five position, but won all three matches played at three or higher.
2004 graduate of Friedrich-von-Alberti Gymnasium ... played for coach Dirk Schwarzer ... finished runner up at the German championships in both singles and doubles.
Son of Karl and Evelyn Knupfer ... born on March 1, 1985 in Bad Friedrichshall, Germany ... majoring in economics and managerial studies ... member of Brown College.
Owls Season Ends in NCAA Opener
05/13/2016 - After nearly three hours of momentum swings and tireless effort on all courts, Boris Arias of LSU outlasted Rice’s David Warren in three sets...
Bennett and Warren Qualify for NCAA Doubles
05/04/2016 - Rice juniors Tommy Bennett and David Warren will represent Rice and Conference USA as the conference’s automatic qualifier in the 2016 NCAA...
Owls Set for NCAA Action
05/03/2016 - For just the second time in school history, the Rice men’s and women’s tennis teams were each selected to the NCAA Tournament announced...
Ustundag and Hansen Earn C-USA Accolades
05/02/2016 - Rice men’s tennis head coach Efe Ustundag has been named Conference USA Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year while Jake Hansen was tabbed C-U...
Rice Tennis to Host NCAA Selection Party
04/29/2016 - Rice tennis fans are invited to join with the members of the Owls men's and women's teams in the R Room at Rice Stadium Tuesday, May 3 for the...
Energized Owls Race to First Title Since 2010
04/24/2016 - Spurred on by a raucous crowd of 537, the 26th ranked Rice men’s tennis team rode a blistering start in doubles and the steady play of their ...
Owls and Monarchs to Battle for Crown
04/23/2016 - The 26th ranked Rice men’s tennis are one match away from completing a journey that fell one match short a year ago as they advanced to their...
Owls Race Past Roadrunners in C-USA Opener
04/22/2016 - Tommy Bennett and David Warren picked up wins in singles and doubles to lead the 26th Rice Owls to a 4-0 win over UTSA in the opening round of the ...
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