Saint Leo preps for NCAA opening match

Saint Leo preps for NCAA opening match

NCAA South Regional 1 Tournament Page

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo men's tennis team is in search of more, and that all starts on Sunday, May 8 as they open play in the NCAA South Regional 1. The Lions will have home court advantage through the opening rounds.

Home court advantage is always wanted by teams, and to enter the NCAA tournament with it, is a perk that cannot be denied.

"In my opinion, Saint Leo being the host of the regional is a great opportunity to show our people what we are made of," said sophomore Jaime Bueno of getting to stay at home. "Also, we have trained here the whole season, so obviously we know our courts, and we feel better playing here than any other courts."

The Lions have a 10-0 record at home this season, including wins over No. 3 Armstrong State, No. 4 West Florida, No. 5 Lander, No. 7 Barry, and No. 20 North Georgia.

Saint Leo will open play with an unfamiliar opponent in Benedict College, the No. 8 seed in the South Region, at 12 p.m. on May 8.

"We do not play any SIAC [Benedict's conference affiliation] schools and we don't know much about them, however we are treating them as any other opponent," said head coach Chris Frusci. "If they made it into this tournament, we know that they can play some tennis. We will focus on ourselves first and foremost, but we will for sure be ready for a team that has nothing to lose."

The Tigers have a 15-8 record overall, and won the SIAC tournament for the second-straight season. The Tigers are led by Nathanial Pinkney, the SIAC Player of the Year, and Quentin Eloise, the SIAC Freshman of the Year. Pinkney was also named the MVP of the SIAC Tournament.

"We are prepared for everything," Bueno said of his team. "Our mentality is that if we want to be the number one, we have to beat every team. So I think we are very prepare for our upcoming matches and we are super pumped to play tough teams, because there is when the fun starts."

Saint Leo will also host No. 4 West Florida and No. 5 Lynn University.

"This will for sure be a battle of two programs who've had many highlights throughout the season," Frusci said of the match on the other side of the bracket. "Lynn has improved tremendously throughout the year and West Florida has beaten the only team we've lost to. If we're fortunate enough to advance to play one of them, we know it won't be easy. They will most likely have an epic marathon match."

The winners of the two matches will play in the South Regional 1 Final on Monday at 3 p.m.

For more information on the Saint Leo men's tennis program, visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.