WASHINGTON - The George Washington men's tennis team travels to Durham, N.C., this weekend to face nationally ranked Duke for the second time in as many years in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Buff and Blue return to the Ambler Tennis Stadium on Saturday, May 12, with first serve set for 12 p.m.
ITA No. 8 ranked Duke (22-5) earned the No. 8 overall seed in the tournament and will serve as a regional host site for the third consecutive year. The winner of the GW/Duke match will advance to the second round to face either LSU or Northwestern on Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m., to compete for a trip to the NCAA Championships, held May 18-22 inAthens, Ga.
"I think we have a good shot at winning and we are excited to play," head coach Greg Munoz said. "Duke is clearly the favorite, but we know they are beatable. We are capable of defeating anyone in the country, even if that means pulling off an upset."
Duke leads the all-time series 7-1, including last year's sweep in the NCAA First Round, the teams' first meeting since 1959. The Colonials will look to avenge the 4-0 loss to the Blue Devils from one year ago, a match in which they played without powerhouse duo of senior Ugur Atalay and freshman Francisco Dias.
"Having Ugur and Francisco this year will make an incredible difference," said Coach Munoz. "Not only are our doubles very strong, but I feel that we have a chance to win at virtually every singles position as well."
GW (17-7) earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament - its second straight and second-ever appearance - after defeating Xavier, 4-3, in the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship on April 15. The Colonials entered the tournament as the fifth seed and earned upset wins over No. 4 Temple, No. 1 Charlotte and No. 2 Xavier en route to the conference crown. The A-10 title was the program's third overall, with the first crown coming in 1979. The Colonials look to be the first-ever A-10 team to win a match in NCAA competition.
GW and Duke will follow Saturday's 9 a.m. match between LSU and Northwestern at approximately 12 p.m. Ticket prices for all NCAA Tournament matches are $5 for adults and $3 for students/seniors, and each ticket is good for all matches each day. Tickets can be purchased outside the stadium on the day of the match. Parking for all matches will be available in the Blue Zone, which can be accessed off Duke University Road.