Buccaneers headed back to Columbus regional for second-straight year
INDIANAPOLIS (May 1, 2012) – The NCAA unveiled its 2012 Men’s Tennis Tournament field of 64 on Tuesday evening, with ETSU learning it will travel to Columbus, Ohio for a first-round matchup against the No. 5 overall seed Ohio State.
Specific dates and times for first-round matchups are still to be determined. ETSU and Ohio State will square off on either Friday, May 11, or Saturday, May 12.
The six-time defending Atlantic Sun Tournament champions were joined by fans and media at the Humpheys Center to watch the webcast provided by NCAA.com, and soon discovered they will head back to the regional where they lost 4-3 against Notre Dame in last year’s tournament. ETSU’s other four bids to the NCAA's came as champions of the Southern Conference in 1999, 2002, ’04 and ’05.
Ohio State (29-2) enters the NCAA Tournament having fallen in the Big Ten Tournament title match to No. 3 seed Illinois. The loss snapped a 12-match winning streak for the Buckeyes, with their only other defeat on the season coming against then-No. 4 Georgia on March 21 in Athens, Ga.
ETSU (14-8, 9-0 A-Sun) will travel into Columbus ranked No. 69 nationally and riding a 14-match winning streak, having not suffered a setback since falling 4-3 to MTSU back on Feb. 18. Since then, the Buccaneers have defeated three ITA-ranked opponents including then-No. 62 North Florida, 4-1, in the A-Sun Championship final.
The Bucs’ impressive second half of the season also included their first undefeated A-Sun record since going 9-0 in 2009. ETSU has run through the league on three other occasions, posting perfect A-Sun marks in 2008, ’07 and ’06.
When the Bucs take to the courts in Columbus next weekend, they will be looking for their first NCAA win since defeating Alabama 4-2 in 2010. ETSU is 2-3 overall through its past five NCAA Tournament first-round appearances, with its other win coming in 2008 against Notre Dame. In last year’s tournament, the Buccaneers were dealt a heartbreaking 4-3 loss at the hands of the Fighting Irish. ETSU led the match 3-2, but dropped the two remaining points at No. 3 and No. 4 singles.
ETSU is winless against the Buckeyes in their four all-time meetings. The two sides last met in the NCAA’s Second Round in 2008, with Ohio State winning 4-0. The prior meeting came in the 1986-87 season, where Ohio State beat the Bucs twice by scores of 8-1 and 7-0. The first-ever meeting between the two teams came in the 1982-83 season, resulting in a 9-0 Buckeye victory.
Complete championship information can be found at NCAA.com.
For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.