JOHNSON CITY , Tenn. (May 9, 2008) - The No. 41 ETSU men's tennis team (23-3, 10-0 A-Sun) is set for its second straight appearance in the NCAA team tournament, where the Bucs will 26th-ranked Notre Dame (16-10, 4-0 Big East) in the opening round Saturday. The two teams will face each other in regional action beginning at 2 p.m. at the Stickney Tennis Center on the campus of Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.
The Bucs are led by junior Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela), who is 22-5 this season playing at the No. 1 singles position and senior Lisandro Picardo (Mar del Plata, Argentina) who has gone 17-0 this spring. Seniors Predrag Burmazovic (Belgrade, Serbia), Oscar Posada (Valencia, Venezuela), and Sebastian Serrano (Cartagena, Colombia) will also help guide ETSU. Posada has been a strong force for the Bucs from the No. 5 slot going 13-3 in singles play and 16-4 in doubles during dual play. Competing mainly in the sixth position, sophomore Daniel Isaza (Medellin, Colombia) compiled a 13-8 record adding depth to the lineup.
In doubles, ETSU has been dominant throughout the season and looks for that trend to continue. Serrano and Olivares have been a formidable duo notching a 62-14 record over the last three seasons. They have knocked off opponents from then No. 2 Georgia, No. 50 MTSU, No. 48 Harvard, No. 59 Stetson and a victory over the fourth-ranked duo from Texas. The duo was also undefeated in conference play for the third straight year. Posada and Alex Ahlgren (Tyreso, Sweden) have also been a forceful presence for the Bucs with a 19-7 overall record competing primarily in the No. 1 slot, while Picardo and Isaza compiled a 21-6 overall record and won their second straight title at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in the fall.
This marks the sixth time the Bucs have competed in the NCAA Championships, the fourth time in five years they have qualified, and marks the first time they have faced a Big East opponent. Their last appearance came in 2007, where the Bucs fell, 4-2 to 17th-ranked Alabama in the first round. Other past opponents include Tennessee, TCU, Auburn, and Kentucky.
The Fighting Irish is led by senior Sheeva Parbhu and junior Brett Helgeson. Parbhu ended the season with a 27-12 record and is ranked No. 111 in the latest ITA poll. Helgeson finished the season 30-10 and is ranked 44th nationally. This will be Notre Dame's 17th NCAA appearance in the last 18 seasons.
The winner of the ETSU-Notre Dame match will advance to Sunday's second round match-up against the winner of the Ohio State-Cleveland State match. Follow the Bucs by visiting the live scoring page on the Ohio State website and check www.ETSUBucs.com for updates at the end of each days play.
Saturday, May 10
11 a.m. Ohio State vs. Cleveland State
2 p.m. Notre Dame vs. ETSU
Sunday, May 11
Noon Winner of 11 a.m. match vs. Winner of 2 p.m. match