Lions' Season to Continue with NCAA Tournament Appearance
SAINT LEO, Fla. – Coming off a season in which Saint Leo Men's Tennis collected more regular season wins (14) than any men's squad since 1988 (16), the No.27-ranked Lions earned their first-ever team berth into the NCAA Tournament, it was announced Tuesday evening by the NCAA.
The Lions, who will take on the No.5 ranked Lynn University Fighting Knights on Sunday, are playing as the seventh-seed and out of the second south region bracket. Action is set to take place from the Perper Tennis Complex located in Boca Raton, Fla. with first serve coming at 12:00 p.m. (Note time change. Originally scheduled for 3:00 p.m.)
The four-team bracket also features defending national champion Barry, and the Gulf South's Ouachita Baptist.
It is a single elimination format with the winner of Saint Leo/Lynn taking on the Barry/Ouachita Baptist victor at a to be determined time on Monday.
In competing with the Fighting Knights earlier this season, the Lions dropped an 8-1 decision but did manage to test the 2011 SSC Tournament Champions at each spot in the lineup.
The Lions are led by the No.24 ranked doubles tandem of Matt Nicholson-Lewis and Victor Lozier while the Fighting Knights see three individual players and two teams ranked in the ITA top-50.
Charging hard at the end of the 2011 campaign, the Lions clipped archrival Florida Southern in the quarterfinals of the SSC Tournament before being edged by No.9 Rollins, 5-3.
The tournament features 14 preliminary brackets with the winner of each group advancing onto the round of 16 which is scheduled from May 11-14 from Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
15 conference winners received automatic bids while 33 teams were selected as at-large bids which were voted on by a regional committee.
The preliminary regional brackets will consist of winners from the Atlantic, Central, East, Midwest, South, South Central, Southeast, and West (top two teams from west).
In total, 48 teams will be vying for a chance at the NCAA Division II National Championship.