Despite not making the NCAA Championship as a team, Alabama’s Jarryd Botha and Ricky Doverspike were one of 32 teams selected to the NCAA Doubles Championships. This is the 16th time a Crimson Tide duo has been selected for postseason play. Botha and Doverspike played at the No. 1 doubles position throughout the dual match season for Alabama, where they collected 11 wins. Five of their victories have come against nationally-ranked opponents, including two in the top 10. Last time out, Botha and Doverspike knocked off Tennessee’s Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese, ranked 10th at the time, in a tiebreaker at the SEC Championship to clinch the doubles point for the Tide. The team will head into the national tournament winners of six of their last seven matches.
The Razorback men’s tennis team’s 2012 season was ended after not receiving a bid to the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday. Arkansas finished the year with a 14-13 overall record and were 1-10 in the SEC. One of the main highlights of its season was reaching a national ranking of No. 32, which was its highest ranking since 2008. Its win over Vanderbilt was also its first conference victory since the 2010 spring season. The players now begin their offseason workouts in preparation of the 2012-13 season.
The Auburn Tigers (17-9) will compete in the NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament for the 13th consecutive year and the 18th time in the last 19 seasons. The Tigers will head to Urbana, Ill., where they will face Missouri Valley Conference champion Drake (24-2) in the first round at noon Friday, May 11. The winner of that match will face either host and Big Ten champion Illinois (17-7) or Mid-American Conference champ Western Michigan (17-11) at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 12. In addition, junior Andreas Mies was selected to the NCAA singles championship for the first time in his career, and senior Alex Stamchev will make his second appearance in the NCAA doubles championship as he and Mies will compete in Athens, Ga. Mies and Stamchev are seeded 5-8 in the doubles draw, earning All-America honors for the Auburn duo. This marks the 20th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance for the Tigers, and Mies becomes the 30th different Auburn individual to be selected for the singles or doubles draw.
Florida was selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament for the 22nd year in a row and will host the first and second rounds for the fifth-straight year. The Gators will face Patriot League Champion Navy (18-8) in the first round on Saturday, May 12, at noon, with the winner advancing to play the winner between Ivy League Champion Harvard (22-2) and Virginia Tech (11-11). The second round match will be played on Sunday at 2 p.m. In addition to the team qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, Florida's Bob van Overbeek, Tripper Carleton and Nassim Slilam were selected to the 64-player singles draw in the NCAA Individual Championships. Slilam and Billy Federhofer were selected as one of 32 teams in the doubles draw for the individual championships.
The Georgia men's tennis team (23-2) on Tuesday received the No. 2 seed for the upcoming NCAA Championships and is set to host first and second rounds at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex May 12-13. Georgia will take on MEAC champion South Carolina State on Sat., May 12 at noon in the opening match of the tournament, with Boise State and Florida State also coming to town for the regional. The Bulldogs are hosting the championships in Athens a record 30th time (27th on the men's side) May 17-28. Also this week Georgia learned that four players earned singles bids into the NCAA individual tournament, which will be held in Athens following the team portion. Senior Wil Spencer received his second straight individual bid, as a No. 9-16 seed, will earn All-America honors again in 2012. Joining Spencer in the singles field of 64 are fellow seniors Ignacio Taboada and Sadio Doumbia and junior KU Singh, while sophomore Hernus Pieters is the first alternate. Spencer and Garrett Brasseaux are the sixth doubles alternate. Four selections into singles is the second most in the nation behind only three-time defending NCAA champion Southern Cal.
Behind winning the Southeastern Conference Championship with an undefeated record in league play, the sixth-ranked University of Kentucky men's tennis team received an at-large selection into the 2012 NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament. Kentucky was selected as one of 16 host sites for the event, marking the fourth consecutive season the Wildcats will host the first and second rounds of the tournament. UK, which is the top seed in the Lexington Regional and the sixth overall seed in the tournament, will be joined in Lexington by No. 27 Indiana (21-8), No. 37 Louisville (18-9) and No. 75 Radford (20-5). The Wildcats are making their 23rd showing in the NCAA Tournament, including 18 of the last 19 years. This is the ninth time since 2000 that UK has hosted the first and second rounds, including four consecutive years. All of UK's NCAA appearances have come under Emery's direction.
LSU (14-10) will travel to Durham, N.C., to face the No. 43 Northwestern Wildcats in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Amber Tennis Stadium on May 12 at 9 a.m. ET. The match will mark the first contest between the two teams since 1974. If they advance they will face either George Washington or the No. 8 seed Duke. LSU is led by veteran players, No. 31 Olivier Borsos and No. 59 Neal Skupski. Borsos is currently riding a five-match win streak on the top court. He is 12-10 and has defeated seven ranked opponents this season, while senior Skupski is currently 14-8 on the season. This will be the 27th time LSU has made the tournament. The Tigers hold a 28-27 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament.
Ole Miss earned its 21st overall NCAA bid and 19th straight. The Rebels are seeded No. 13 and will host the first and second rounds for the 10th time and first since 2008. Coming to Oxford are Binghamton, Michigan and Middle Tennessee. The Rebels will face Binghamton in the first round Saturday, May 12 at Noon. Freshman Nik Scholtz, senior Marcel Thiemann and junior Jonas Lutjen qualified for the NCAA Singles Championship. Thiemann earned his third straight bid. Scholtz is seeded 9-16 in the singles field. The Rebels will have two teams in the NCAA Doubles, with Scholtz/Lutjen and Marcel and Chris Thiemann. The Thiemann’s are making their third doubles appearance. Scholtz became the first player in the history of the program to be named the SEC Freshman of the Year. He was joined on all the All-SEC first team by Marcel Thiemann, who made it for the third time. Jonas Lutjen made the second team. Marcel and Chris Thiemann will pull double duty next weekend as both are set to graduate with degrees in Managerial Finance.
Mississippi State’s ninth-ranked men’s tennis squad earned their first ever hosting of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships as they were picked as the tournament’s No. 9 overall seed. Travelling to Starkville is Alcorn State, Baylor and Memphis as the First and Second Rounds are set to begin at 11 a.m. CT on Friday, May 11. The Bulldogs take on Alcorn State following the conclusion of the 11 a.m. match-up between Baylor and Memphis.
No. 41 South Carolina earned its 20th bid to the NCAA Tournament, the first under second-year head coach Josh Goffi. The Gamecocks will take on future SEC rival Texas A&M at Southern Cal. Additionally, the Gamecocks' top doubles team of sophomores Chip Cox and Nick Jones, ranked 24th in the nation, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Doubles Championship. The duo is 7-6 this spring, including a 6-3 mark in SEC competition and a 5-2 mark against nationally ranked opponents. As a team, South Carolina is 15-11 on the season with seven wins against nationally ranked foes, including five on the road. The Gamecocks are 13-18 all-tie in NCAA Tournament matches with their last appearance coming in 2009.
The Tennessee Volunteers will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., for the opening rounds of the NCAA Championships on May 12 and 13. The Vols (14-13) open the tournament against UNC Wilmington. Once again, Tennessee will also have representatives in the NCAA singles and doubles tournaments, but for the first time in program history, both players in the national draw will be freshmen. Mikelis Libietis, ranked 30th nationally, received an at-large bid for singles and is playing doubles with fellow freshmen Hunter Reese. The two have been ranked as high as seventh in doubles and are now 12th. Tennessee has had an individual finalist at the NCAAs each of the last four years.
The No. 40 Vanderbilt men's tennis team earned its 11th NCAA Tournament bid and will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on No. 29 Notre Dame in the first round. The winner will move on to the second round and face the winner of a match between host and fifth-seeded Ohio State and East Tennessee State. The Commodores are led into the tournament for the fifth time in six years by a pair of nationally ranked singles players. Charlie Jones is No. 42 in the nation and has posted a 13-9 record in dual matches this spring, playing exclusively at number one singles. Gonzales Austin joins him in the ITA rankings at No. 81. Austin has posted a 14-8 dual match record on the spring, playing all but one match at number two singles. In addition, Austin joins with Alex DiValerio to form the 22nd-ranked doubles team in the nation. The pair is 5-4 on the spring, including a 3-2 record in SEC play. All-time, Vanderbilt is 14-10 in NCAA Tournament play. Twice the Commodores have advanced to the Round of 16, where they reached the Finals in 2003 and the Quarterfinals in 2004.