JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 12, 2005) - The East Tennessee State University men's tennis team (20-3, 10-0 SoCon) prepares for their fourth appearance in the NCAA team tournament in which they will face interstate rival the 14th-ranked Tennessee (14-8, 6-5 SEC) in the opening round. The two teams will face each other in regional action on Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m. at UT's Varsity Outdoor Courts in Knoxville, Tenn.
Earlier in the season, the two teams faced each. ETSU fell to UT in a tough 6-1 decision on Feb. 8 and lead the Vols lead the all-time series 16-0. However, since the loss to UT, ETSU has won 18 straight matches and claimed the regular season and championship Southern Conference titles.
The Bucs are led by nationally ranked Oscar Posada (Valencia, Venezuela). Posada, who is currently ranked No. 70 in the ITA poll, is 15-3 this season at the No. 1 singles position. Sophomore Felix Insaurralde (Asunción, Paraguay) playing at No. 2 has also been a strong force this season for the Bucs, as he is 18-4 in singles including a win against UT's Ockie Oosthuizen in the spring. Seniors Fernando Fiuri (Villa Maria, Argentina) and Moisés Serrano (Cartagena, Colombia) will provide added stability and guidance for the Bucs at the No. 3 and No. 4 singles positions respectively. Freshman Lisandro Picardo (Mar del Plata, Argentina) is 19-4 at the No. 5 singles position and freshman Sebastian Serrano (Cartagena, Colombia) is 14-1 at the No. 6 singles position and will also play crucial roles in Saturday's contest. In doubles, ETSU has been dominant in throughout the season and look for that trend to continue. Its three doubles tandems to appear in the tournament are a combined 43-7 (.860).
Tennessee is the No. 10 seed in the tournament. Only the top 16 teams are seeded. The Vols are led by senior Mark Dietrich. Dietrich is ranked No. 54 in the latest ITA poll. Doubles tandem Ockie Oosthuizen and Ben Rogers are ranked No. 9.
The winner of the Tennessee-ETSU match will advance to Sunday's second round match-up against the winner of the Ohio State-Brown match. Ohio State (19-8, 8-2 Big 10) is ranked No. 26 in the team rankings and features the highest-ranked singles and doubles tandem in the Knoxville Regional. Buckeye sophomore Devin Mullings is ranked No. 40 in the ITA and doubles duo Scott Green and Ross Wilson are ranked No. 5. Brown University (23-5, 7-0) is ranked No. 40 in the team rankings and is led by Adil Shamasdin who is ranked No. 86 in singles.
All matches will be played at the UT Outdoor Varsity Courts. In case of inclement weather the matches will be moved to the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students and children 2 and under get in free.
Saturday, May 14
10 a.m. 10-seed & No. 14 Tennessee vs. ETSU
1 p.m. No. 26 Ohio State vs. No. 40 Brown
Sunday, May 15
1 p.m. Winner of 10 a.m. match vs. Winner of 1 p.m. match