UWF Men's Tennis: NCAA Championships Preview
No. 2 UWF to Face No. 42 Nebraska Kearney on May 16th
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The No. 2-ranked University of West Florida men’s tennis team’s postseason will continue next week as the Argos play in the NCAA Championships. West Florida will face No. 42 Nebraska Kearney in the Round of 16 on May 16th at 5 p.m. eastern at the Top Gun Tennis Academy in Louisville, Ky.
Division II Men’s Tennis Championships Schedule of Events
Wednesday, May 16 – Round of 16. Match times: 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.; E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park and Top Gun Tennis Academy.
Thursday, May 17 – Quarterfinals. Match time: 1 p.m.; E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park and Top Gun Tennis Academy.
Friday, May 18 – Semifinals. Match time: 1 p.m.; Top Gun Tennis Academy.
Saturday, May 19 – Championship. Match time: 1:00 pm; Top Gun Tennis Academy.
All times Eastern.
UWF is the No. 2 ranked team in the nation and is the No. 1 team in the South Region. West Florida is currently 25-2 this season. The Argos’ only loss to a Division II opponent came at the hands of then No. 3-ranked Armstrong Atlantic, 0-9, on Feb. 25th in a neutral site match in Columbus, Ga. Ole Miss, which at the time was the No. 15 team in NCAA Division I tennis, defeated the Argos, 4-0, on March 17th. West Florida is currently riding a 16-match winning streak.
Road to Louisville
West Florida received the No. 1 seed in the South Region and hosted NCAA South Regional #1 April 28-30th at the Ralph “Skeeter” Carson Tennis Complex on the UWF campus. West Florida defeated Gulf South Conference (GSC) foe and No. 8 seed West Alabama, 5-0, to advance to the regional finals. The Argos defeated No. 6-ranked and No. 4-seeded Rollins for the second time this season, 5-1, to secure a spot in the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky.
Gulf South Conference Champions
The Argos were a perfect 7-0 in GSC regular season play. UWF received the No. 1 seed and a bye in the quarterfinals of the GSC Men’s Tennis Championships. West Florida blanked No. 38 Delta State, 5-0, in the semifinals of the tournament. In the finals, No. 2-ranked UWF defeated No. 5-ranked and defending national champions Valdosta State, 5-1. It was the ninth time the Argos have been crowned the GSC Champions.
Savi Named GSC Player of the Year
In his first year as an Argonaut, UWF sophomore Bruno Savi (Santana do Livramento, Brazil) received GSC Player of the Year accolades and was named as a member of the All-GSC Men’s Tennis Team. In singles, Savi is 17-2, including 9-1 at the No. 1 line. He has won his last 14 matches. He is currently the No. 11 singles player in the nation. In doubles, he teams with Kevin Ducros (Aix-en-Provence, France) to form the No. 2 doubles team in the nation and South Region. The duo is 22-4 overall, with all matches being played at the No. 1 line.
Pozhidaev Named to All-GSC Team for Fourth Time
UWF senior Andrey Pozhidaev (Sochi, Russia) was named to the All-GSC Men’s Tennis Team for the fourth time in his career. He is currently ranked No. 19 nationally in singles and with teammate Leandro Ferreira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) forms the No. 18 doubles team. He is just the 22nd player to be named to the league’s all-conference team four times. Pozhidaev is the third Argonaut to be named to the first team four times. He is 20-2 in singles and is currently riding a 13-match winning streak. Ferreira and Pozhidaev are 20-3 this season, with all matches being played at the No. 2 doubles position.
Ducros Receives Third All-GSC Accolade
UWF junior Kevin Ducros received his third All-GSC honors as he was named a member of the 2012 All-GSC Men’s Tennis Team. Ducros, who used a medical redshirt last spring, was also a member of the 2009 and 2010 teams. He is the No. 7 singles player in the nation and is 11-6 this season. In doubles, he teams with Bruno Savi to form the No. 2 doubles team in the nation and South Region. The duo is 5-0 against ranked opponents this season.
Freshman Latela Steps Up
West Florida freshman Elio Latela (Sydney, Australia) has been a key player for the Argonauts in singles this season. Latela, who received his first All-GSC honors this year, is 17-1 in singles. He was a perfect 6-0 in conference play and has won his last five singles matches.
Racine Named GSC Coach of the Year
West Florida head coach Derrick Racine has been named the GSC Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year. It is the sixth time that Racine has garnered the accolade. It is the seventh time in conference history that a UWF coach has received the honor.
Home Sweet Home
West Florida went 14-1 this season at the Ralph “Skeeter” Carson Tennis Complex on the UWF campus. The wins include two victories in NCAA South Regional #1. UWF’s lone home loss was to Division I Ole Miss.
UWF’S HISTORY IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
West Florida has made it the NCAA tournament every year since 1997. The Argos won the national championship in 2004 and 2005. Including this season, the Argos have advanced to at least the Round of 16 in the tournament 12 times.
ABOUT THE FIELD
Of the original 48 teams, 16 regional winners advanced to play in Louisville. Of the 16, 11 are ranked in the top 25 nationally, with all 16 teams being ranked in the top 50. West Florida has played five of the teams this season. On Feb. 25th, Armstrong Atlantic defeated UWF, 9-0, in a neutral site match in Columbus, Ga. In Boca Raton, the Argos defeated Lynn, 5-4, on March 20th. UWF defeated Concordia New York, 5-1, on March 31st in Pensacola. On April 6th, UWF defeated Grand Canyon, 7-2, at home. Two days later, UWF tallied an 8-1 victory over Hawaii Pacific at home. UWF’s match against Drury was cancelled due to rain.
UWF will face Nebraska Kearney in the Round of 16 on May 16th. UNK is 18-9 this season and ranked No. 42 nationally. Nebraska Kearney lost to Western New Mexico, 5-0, in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) tournament finals. The Lopers defeated Metropolitan State College of Denver, 5-3, in Kearney, to advance to the NCAA Championships in Louisville.
The winner of the UWF-UNK match will advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships to face the winner of the Ouachita Baptist-Bluefield State College match. Ouachita Baptist won the inaugural Great American Conference championship. OBU is ranked No. 12 nationally and is 14-6 overall. The Tigers defeated St. Edward’s, 5-3, to punch their ticket to Louisville. Bluefield State College is the No. 43 team in the nation. Bluefield is 20-4 this season and won Atlantic Regional #1.
West Florida and Nebraska Kearney will play at 5 p.m. eastern on May 16th. Live stats and live video of the match will be available on ncaa.com. The interactive bracket can be found at http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/tennis-men/d2. Results and recaps from all of West Florida’s matches in the NCAA Championships will be available on GoArgos.com. For information on all UWF Athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.
-- www.GoArgos.com –