Wednesday, May 04, 2011
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May, 3 2011) -After winning its fifth straight Atlantic Sun Conference Championship just over two weeks ago, the ETSU men's tennis team finally learned its first round match-up on Tuesday afternoon during the NCAA.com selection show.
With players, coaches, staff members and fans watching inside the Humphreys Center, ETSU (17-5) received news that it will be traveling to the Columbus Regional and will take on Notre Dame (17-11) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Bucs, who enter the tournament ranked 55th in latest ITA poll, have won eight straight matches.
Director of Tennis Yaser Zaatini's squad will be making their ninth NCAA appearance all-time. The first round match between ETSU and Notre Dame is a familiar one as the two teams faced each other in an identical situation during the 2007-08 season. Strangely enough, the match was during the first round of the NCAA tournament and also in the Columbus Regional. The Bucs earned their first ever victory in the Big Dance as they knocked off the then 30th-ranked Irish in a 4-2 decision.
The Bucs earned their second NCAA victory last season when they knocked off No. 32 Alabama in the opening round of the Knoxville Regional.
Notre Dame enters the field after receiving an at-large bid from the committee, following a year in which the team defeated 11 nationally ranked opponents. Under the direction of head coach Bobby Bayliss, the Fighting Irish have earned 20 of the last 21 NCAA team championship draws.
Joining ETSU and Notre Dame in Columbus is the top-seed in the regional Ohio State (30-2) and Ball State (15-14).
Specific times and dates for first and second round matches will be released at a later time.
For the 12th consecutive year, the NCAA men's tennis championship features a field of 64 teams, consisting of 31 automatic-qualifying conference champions and 33 at-large selections. The first and second rounds will take place on May 13-15 at 16 campus sites. The winner of the second-round matches at each site will advance to Palo Alto, Calif., as Stanford University will play host to the final four rounds of the team tournament as well as the national championship draws for singles and doubles play from May 19-24.
For more information on ETSU men's tennis please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's tennis link. Also, be sure to follow ETSU Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.