Auburn Faces NC State in NCAA First Round


May 9, 2013

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2013 NCAA First Round - No. 24 Auburn (13-10) vs. No. 39 NC State (13-10)
Date: Friday, May 10   Time: 11:00 a.m. CT
Where: Headington Family Tennis Center; Norman, Okla.   Tournament Central
Match Notes: Auburn Notes   Live Scoring
Up Next: With a win, Auburn would play the winner of Oklahoma/Wichita State in the second round at 2 p.m. Saturday.

NORMAN, Okla. - The Auburn Tigers will make their 21st appearance in the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship as they face NC State in the opening round at 11 a.m. Friday. The match will take place at the Headington Family Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.

With a win, 24th-ranked Auburn (13-10) would face the winner of 14th-seeded Oklahoma (19-6) and Wichita State (17-7). This is the Tigers' first meeting with NC State (13-10) since 1983.

"We've had a good two-and-a-half weeks of practice going into the tournament," Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. "Obviously, we haven't played a match in a couple of weeks, so match toughness is kind of the unknown. Through the season, hopefully what we've learned will carry us into the tournament this weekend.

"NC State is in the ACC and obviously has played a good schedule. They're a very competitive team, they battle hard, they're feisty, we know that. We know it's going to be a really tough match. Their ACC Tournament is a week later than the SEC Tournament, so they're probably a little more match-tough than we are. But as far as overall schedule, I don't think anyone can contend with what we contend with all year. I think it will be a tough match, as all first rounds have been in the last few years. We're looking forward to it."

Auburn is making its 21st all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and its 14th in a row. The Tigers have been to the NCAA Tournament 19 of the last 20 seasons - all under Shore - and have advanced to the second round each of the last six years.

Auburn is led by the doubles team of senior Andreas Mies and junior Daniel Cochrane, who entered the season ranked No. 2 in the nation and moved up to No. 1 at one point in the season. They claimed Auburn's first-ever title at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa and also advanced to the semifinals at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in November. They are currently ranked No. 6.

Junior Dennis Lengsfeld owns a team-best 16-4 mark in singles during the dual match season (7-3 SEC), and sophomore Lukas Ollert isn't far behind with a 14-5 mark (7-3 SEC). Mies is 7-5 in league play and 13-7 overall in the dual season. The Tigers' No. 2 doubles team of Lengsfeld and Lucas Lopasso has won 21 matches this season, including a 16-6 mark (7-5 SEC) in dual play.

This is the sixth all-time NCAA appearance for NC State and fourth in the last eight seasons. The Wolfpack are ranked 39th in the latest ITA rankings. NC State is led by the doubles duo of senior Dave Thomson and junior Sean Weber, ranked 18th in the latest ITA release, with a 19-9 overall record and 13-6 mark in dual matches. Four different Wolfpack players have 12 singles wins in dual play to share the team lead. Sophomores Robbie Mudge and Austin Powell were named to the All-ACC team, splitting time at the top two spots in the lineup most of the year.

Auburn has qualified for its 14th straight NCAA Tournament and the 21st in program history. The Tigers have an all-time record of 22-20 in the tournament. A total of 19 of those 21 appearances have come in the 23 seasons under Head Coach Eric Shore.

The Tigers have advanced to the second round in each of the last six seasons. Auburn has twice advanced to the national quarterfinals with those trips coming in 1998 and 2002.

A match that lasted nearly five hours came down to the final excruciating points as the 17th-ranked Auburn men's tennis team dropped a heart-wrenching 4-3 decision to No. 16 Illinois, ending the Tigers' NCAA Tournament run in the second round at Illinois' Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. The loss marked Auburn's sixth straight in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

With five of the six singles matches decided in straight sets, it all came down to a three-set affair that lasted nearly four hours on court three between Auburn's Daniel Cochrane and Illinois' Bruno Abdelnour. Cochrane lost a first set tiebreaker, but came back to take control in the second set and gain a 6-2 win.

The players started off by trading breaks to get back on serve after two games. Abdelnour, however, found a way to break Cochrane's serve and take a 3-1 lead. Both players held from there until Abdelnour had a chance to serve for the match at 5-3. Cochrane had two break point chances at the end, but two extremely close calls - one down the far sideline and one just beyond the baseline - went in Illinois' favor, and Abdelnour eventually won the match.

Auburn fell behind 1-0 early as Illinois won the doubles point; the Illini improved to 14-0 on the year when taking an early lead. The Fighting Illini took a 2-0 lead when Hoh defeated Dennis Lengsfeld in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, on court five. But from there, things got interesting. Auburn got on the board as Lukas Ollert downed Guignon, 6-3, 6-2, at the No. 6 singles slot to make it 2-1. Just a few minutes later, 68th-ranked Alex Stamchev used the momentum from winning a first-set tiebreaker to take down 31st-ranked Roy Kalmanovich, 7-6 (5), 6-3, and knot the team score at two apiece.

Auburn took the lead at 3-2 as Lucas Lopasso earned a huge 6-4, 7-6 (7) win over Kopinski at the No. 4 singles slot, and the remaining two matches loomed large. Andreas Mies took No. 7 Nevolo to a fi rst-set tiebreaker, but fell behind with a 7-5 setback. The players stayed on serve throughout the second set, but Nevolo managed to break Mies at 5-4 to clinch the victory, 7-6 (5), 6-4, and set up the thriller on court three.

Auburn defeated Drake, 4-2, in the tournament's opening match.

NC State holds a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series, but the teams have not met since 1983. Auburn claimed a forfeit win over the Wolfpack in 1980, and earned a 7-2 victory in 1981. NCSU won in 1978, 1979 and 1983.

Auburn and Wichita State have met four times previously with each team claiming two victories. The Tigers earned wins in 1985 and 1990, while the Shockers claimed a pair of wins in the 1986 season.

If Auburn faces Oklahoma in the second round, it would be the first men's tennis meeting between the schools. Auburn is 12-9 all-time against the other five Big 12 schools that compete in men's tennis.