Red Raiders take on No. 43 Rice in the first round in the Waco region on Fri., May 13
LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 22 Texas Tech men’s tennis team earned its fifth-straight berth into the NCAA Championship today, which was announced this afternoon on NCAA.com. Tech is the No. 2 seed in the Waco, Texas region and plays 43rd-ranked and No. 3 seed Rice on Fri., May 13, at the Baylor Tennis Center in first round action.
The Red Raiders are making their sixth appearance in the last seven years in the NCAA Championship and the 11th time overall in the program’s history. All 11 appearances have come under head coach Tim Siegel.
“We are very excited to be back in the NCAA Championship,” said Siegel. “Rice is a very well-coached team, a very dangerous team, and is so much better than their ranking. We are definitely not looking past them at all. We never take it for granted that we are in the NCAA tourney. It’s always a challenge for us to be in the Top 40 to get in. We will work extremely hard and be ready for the NCAA Championship.”
The other first round match in the region features No. 1 seed and fifth-ranked Baylor against fourth-seed and No. 70 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The winners of the first round matches will play in the second round on Sat., May 14. Times for both first and second rounds will be announced later.
Of the three other teams in the Waco region, Tech has only faced the Bears this year, losing in Lubbock, 4-3, on March 27. However, Siegel does have ties to both Rice and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Owls’ assistant coach Efe Ustundag and the Islanders’ head coach Steve Moore were both assistant coaches for the Red Raiders under Siegel.
The final 16 teams will compete in the 2011 NCAA Championships hosted by Stanford May 19-24 at the Taube Tennis Center.
The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships selections will be posted on NCAA.com and NCAA.org no later than 5 p.m. on Wed., May 5. Singles and doubles action will run May 25-30 at Stanford.
In the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, the Red Raiders have two players ranked in singles and two doubles teams ranked as well. Junior Raony Carvalho stands at No. 23 and junior Gonzalo Escobar is No. 26. The duo of Carvalho and junior Rafael Garcia are No. 20, while Escobar and sophomore Vitor Manzini are ranked 50th nationally.