johnson city, Tenn. (April 29, 2009) - Just a day after ETSU men's senior tennis star Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela), learned where he and his teammates would play in the 2009 NCAA team tournament, the Buc captain was announced as an automatic qualifier in the 2009 NCAA Men's Singles Championship field.
This marks the second straight season the No. 17-ranked Olivares earned a spot among the nation's elite players, after the two-time Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year rolled his way straight to the Sweet Sixteen and a spot on the 2008 ITA All-American team just a year ago.
Overall, the Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela native has helped guide the No. 63-ranked Bucs to its three straight A-Sun title, while posting a remarkable 31-9 record as the highest ranked singles player in A-Sun history.
This season Olivares has simply been at his best when playing some of the top singles players in the ITA. This past fall the second winningest player in school history (114 career victories) won the prestigious Southern Intercollegiate at the University of Georgia, while also finishing runner-up at the UVA Ranked Plus One Intercollegiate. In addition to the two national tournaments, Olivares continued to show why he's among one of the top players in the country at both the elite qualified ITA National Indoor and D'Novo ITA All-American Championships.
First at the National Indoors - that featured the top-32 players in the ITA rankings - Olivares dropped ninth-ranked Nate Schnugg of Georgia and Brett Helgeson of Notre Dame, who both earned an at large bid into this year's Singles Championship.
At the D'Novo ITA All-American Olivares again made tough matches look easy dropping both Balzazs Novak of Ohio State and last season's NCAA runner-up J.P. Smith of Tennessee in straight sets on Day One. In the quarterfinals Olivares outlasted at large selection Clint Bowles of Florida State, before bowing out to LSU's Michael Venus in a tough two-set match in the semifinals.
Overall, out of the 64 players that were named to the NCAA Singles Championship Wednesday, Olivares have defeated No. 13 Cory Parr of Wake Forest, No. 55 Marek Micalicka of Wisconsin, No. 8 J.P. Smith of Tennessee, No. 54 Kiril Dimitrov of Duke, No. 30 Brett Helgeson of Norte Dame, No. 27 Michael Shabaz of Virginia, No. 57 Clint Bowles of Florida State, No. 5 Burno Agostinelli of Kentucky and No. 41 Reid Carton of Duke this season.
Unfortunately, for ETSU both senior Alex Ahlgren (Tyerso, Sweden), who was ranked 57th in the ITA with Olivares in doubles, and No. 123-ranked Lady Buc junior Yevgenyia Stupak (Kyiv, Ukraine), did not make the field in their respective positions.
Stupak, who earned a spot in the 2008 NCAA Women's Single Championship last season, was named the A-Sun Women's Tennis Player of the Year this spring and was the highest ranked ITA player in the A-Sun all season, while Ahlgren and Olivares finished second in doubles at the Southern Intercollegiate and defeated No. 4 Nate Schnugg and Jamie Hunt of Georgia and No. 5 Drew Sandgren and J. P. Smith of Tennessee, who both earned bids into the doubles field.
Attached above is the bids for the 2009 NCAA Men's Singles and Doubles Championship.
For more information on the ETSU men's tennis team please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.