FIRST EVER trip to national tournament
TEXAS WINS, 4-0. PC to Face No. 10 Texas in NCAA Tourney Friday
The Presbyterian College men’s tennis will make its first appearance in the NCAA Championship TODAY (May 12), taking on the No. 10 national seed Texas in the first round of the tournament at 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. ET) at the Caswell Tennis Center in Austin, Texas.
• What: NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship – First Round
• Who: Presbyterian (18-10) at No. 10 Texas (19-8)
• Where: Caswell Tennis Center – Austin, Texas
• When: Friday, May 12 – 1 p.m. Central (2 p.m. Eastern)
• Live Scoring: TexasSports.com
• Social Media: @PackthePondo and @NCAATennis
First NCAA Tournament Appearance
• It will PC’s first ever NCAA Championship appearance in any sport since the school moved to Division I beginning with the 2007-08 academic year. The team has embraced the motto of “First Ever” or #FE.
• The Blue Hose won the Big South Tournament for the first time to earn the NCAA bid, topping Campbell, 4-3, in the conference title match, coming under second-year head coach Patrick Fediuk. It was the fourth appearance in the title match for PC and the second straight year that it advanced to the conference finals.
• PC also captured its second Big South Regular Season Title, going 6-1 in Big South matches to win the championship outright atop the league standings. It previously captured the regular season title in 2014.
First Meeting against Texas
• Friday’s match will be the first meeting between the two in the history of the respective programs.
• It will also be the first matchup for PC against a Big 12 opponent.
• It will not be PC’s first match against a school from the Lonestar State, though, having faced Lamar in 2015 and 2016.
Highest Ranked Opponent
• Texas, seeded 10th in the NCAA Tournament and ranked 11th in the latest ITA Poll, is the highest ranked opponent in PC’s history.
• The Blue Hose last faced a ranked opponent last season, opening the season with back-to-back matches at No. 43 Georgia Tech and No. 50 South Carolina. The two finished the year inside the top 50 with the Yellow Jackets ranked 37th and the Gamecocks ranked 45th.
Double Down on Doubles
• A big part of PC’s success this season has hinged on its strong play in doubles action, as it captured the doubles point in 20 of its 28 matches on the year, including all nine of its victories against Big South opponents.
• The Blue Hose have compiled a 53-25 record in doubles matches, good for a .679 winning percentage, the second highest mark in the program’s Division I era. They were even better in conference play, going 15-6 in doubles in Big South regular season matches, a program-best .714 winning percentage.
• PC won four matches by a score of 4-3 this season, winning the doubles point in all four.
• In addition to sweeping the conference championships, PC took home program-record six All-Conference honors and claimed the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second straight season.
• Ben Kelley earned first team All-Big South honors in singles, while Alexander Lykou and Brandon Mills were named to the first team as a doubles pair.
• Alejandro Bejar and freshman Jaime Castillo-Lopez each earned second team honors in singles. PC then made it a clean sweep in doubles, as Diego Manzanas and Castillo-Lopez were named to the second team, as were Kelley and Joel Roberts.
• Manzanas then earned the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for the second straight season.
• Kelley was also tabbed as the league’s Player of the Week three times, tied for the most in a single season by a PC player. Mills also earned Big South Player of the Week once, while Castillo-Lopez was picked as the league’s Freshman of the Week once.
• The Blue Hose have finished the year in strong fashion, both individually and as a team. PC enters Friday’s action having won 11 of its last 12 matches to end the season.
• Alejandro Bejar will put an 11-match winning streak on the line on Friday. The junior is 10-0 at No. 5 this season and finished the year 6-0 against Big South opponents. His last loss came over two months to Stetson on March 2.
• Jaime Castillo-Lopez has also capped off the season with strong play, having won his last nine matches entering the tournament. The freshman is unbeaten at No. 6 this season at 6-0 and went unbeaten at in conference play at 5-0.
• Ben Kelley enters tournament play having won nine of his last 11 matches with one going unfinished. The senior had won nine straight before falling in the conference title match.
Seniors Going Out Top
• PC’s three seniors, Ben Kelley, Joel Roberts and Diego Manzanas, have been a large part of the program’s rise and its first conference title.
• Kelley is the winningest player in PC’s Division I era in both singles and doubles. He has compiled 67 career singles victories and 63 career doubles victories, both tops since 2008.
• Manzanas is the second winningest singles play in PC’s Division I era and the third winningest in doubles play. He has compiled 60 career singles victories, trailing only Kelley in that category, while managing 57 career doubles victories.
• Roberts is the team captain and helped lead PC its first conference tournament title. He has compiled 52 career doubles victories, fourth-most in the program’s D1 era, and 31 career singles victories.