No. 23 Men's Tennis Set For NCAA Tournament
May 12, 2011
AUBURN - The No. 23 Auburn men's tennis team will open the 2011 NCAA Tournament at 9 a.m. CT, Friday against North Carolina-Wilmington. The Tigers (15-9), who have qualified for 12 straight NCAA Tournaments, will travel to Athens, Ga., to face the Seahawks (21-4).
"We are going to a place that we are familiar with at Georgia," Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. "Hopefully that will be to our advantage in the first round, and we will see what happens from there."
The last time the Tigers and Seahawks squared off, the Tigers came away with a 6-1 victory in the first match of the 2004 season.
Auburn earned an at-large bid after falling to No. 11 Kentucky, 4-3, in the second round Southeastern Conference Tournament. Auburn opened up the SEC Tournament by defeating South Carolina, 4-0. Since the conclusion of the regular season, the Tigers have picked numerous awards and honors. Senior Tim Puetz was named to the All-SEC First Team as well as the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year. Junior Alex Stamchev was named to the All-SEC Second Team for the second straight year.
Puetz, who is currently ranked No. 12 in singles and doubles, was selected to the NCAA Singles Championship in Palo Alto, Calif. Puetz and partner Daniel Cochrane were one of 32 teams selected for the NCAA Doubles Championship.
The Seahawks will be appearing in the NCAA Regionals for the second time in the last three years. In their last appearance, UNCW lost to Virginia Tech in the Athens Regional at the University of Georgia in 2009.
UNCW is currently led by a two seniors, Kinshuk Sharma (18-5) and Michael Pereira (15-7), who have competed in the Nos. 1 and 2 positions. The Seahawks have also had a great season from sophomore Chris Cooprider, who is 18-4 competing primarily in the No. 3 spot.
The winner Friday's match will face the winner of No. 6 Georgia (20-5) and Samford (18-6) in Athens on May 14 at 2 p.m. CT.
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