SAINT LEO, Fla. – Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams are getting set for the 2009 Sunshine State Conference Tournament which runs from April 16-19 in South Florida. Each squad earned No. 7 seeds for the tournament with matches taking place at both Patch Reef Park and the McCusker Sports Complex from Boca Raton, Fla. with the tournament being hosted by Lynn University.

The women will begin action this Friday, April 16 as they take on No. 2 seed Florida Southern from Patch Reef Park at 11:30 am.  The Lions, who dropped both their contests to the Mocs this spring, look for redemption as they strive for an SSC Tournament crown.  

The winner of the match is scheduled to take on the Rollins and Florida Tech winner on Friday, April 17 at 8:30 am from Patch Reef Park. The loser of the SLU and FSC match will proceed to take on loser of Rollins and Florida Tech at 3:00 pm, also from Patch Reef Park.

The Lions posted a 2-6 record this season in the SSC, snatching victories from Tampa and Eckerd. Overall, the Lions are 9-14 with key victories over St. Olaf, the University of Indianapolis and four victories over Tampa and Eckerd.  Saint Leo enters the tournament having won two of their last five matches and, including a 9-0 win over Eckerd.

Also in women’s action, top-seeded Lynn will look to win its fourth consecutive SSC title.  The Fighting Knights completed the regular season with a perfect 20-0 overall record and an 8-0 mark in conference play.

Florida Southern (15-4) and Rollins (18-2) posted identical 6-2 SSC records, but the Moccasins earned the No. 2 seed by virtue of a 5-4 win over Rollins in the teams’ regular-season meeting.  Nova Southeastern and Barry both accumulated 14-6 overall records with 5-3 conference slates.  NSU claimed the fourth seed compliments of a 7-2 victory over the Buccaneers in regular-season action.

Rounding out the bracket are No. 6 Florida Tech (19-6, 3-5), and No. 8 Tampa (9-12, 1-7).

The men on the other hand, landed the No. 2 seeded Barry University with first serve of the match coming Thursday, April 16 at 8:30 am from the McCusker Sports Complex on the Lynn University campus.

The winner will advance to the semifinal round to take on the winner of Florida Southern and Eckerd at 3:00 pm on Friday the 17. The loser will fall to the backdraw and will take on the loser of  Rollins and Florida Tech on the 17 at 11:00 am from Patch Reef Park.

The men have a prime opportunity to recover from a 4-16 regular season, which culminated with a narrow 5-4 loss to Eckerd on the final day of the regular season. The Lions also strive to earn their first victory against an SSC school this season. Although riding a six –game losing streak, Saint Leo looks to reverse their fortunes against the Buccaneers.

Just as the women, Lynn also took the top seed on the men’s side, having finished the regular-season with a 15-2 overall record and a 6-0 SSC mark.  The Knights won consecutive SSC titles in 2006 and 2007.  By virtue of earning the top seed, Lynn receives a first-round bye.

Last year’s SSC champion, Barry, clinched the No. 2 seed with a 19-2 overall slate and a 5-1 conference record.  Florida Southern (13-7, 4-2) received the No. 3 seed, while Rollins (15-7, 3-3) claimed the No. 4 slot.

No. 5 Florida Tech (15-8, 2-4), No. 6 Eckerd (5-12, 1-5), fill out the remainder of the men’s bracket.

Fans can follow the entire tournament at the link below or stay up-to-date with SaintLeoLions.com for coverage throughout the weekend.

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