JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The East Tennessee State Men's Tennis team learned its fate in the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday as the Buccaneers (16-7, 7-0 SoCon) will match-up with South Carolina (20-6, 9-3 SEC) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Friday, May 12.
It's the 11th straight year ETSU has reached the NCAA Tournament after claiming it's 11th straight conference title and third straight Southern Conference tournament title. ETSU defeated Mercer, 4-3 last weekend to earn the automatic berth.
“We are excited and happy to get another opportunity to go back to the NCAA's,” said SoCon Coach of the Year Ricardo Rojas. “We are excited about the opportunity and now we just have to go work hard in practice and be ready to battle.”
This will be the ninth meeting between the Gamecocks and the Buccaneers and the first since 1983. All-time ETSU is 0-8 against South Carolina. The Gamecocks are ranked 19th in the Oracle/ITA Division I Collegiate Rankings and finished with their most victories since 2005.
“South Carolina has improved from last year and they have been in the top 25 throughout the whole year,” said Rojas. “They are a really good team but we are a confident group and we are going to go out there and give it a shot and see what happens.”
“It's incredible for us to make it 11 years in a row,” said senior David Biosca. “We are always working hard in order to win championships and now we are rewarded with playing in the NCAA tournament again.”
The matchup against South Carolina will mark the 15th trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Bucs in the 19 years since the NCAA Tournament adopted the team tournament format in 1999. ETSU has won two tournament matches in its history with the first coming against Alabama in 2010 and the second against Notre Dame in 2008.
ETSU and South Carolina will play on Friday, May 12 at the Cone-Kenfield Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina. Time of the match is still to be determined. If the Bucs advance, they will face the winner of No.9 North Carolina and VCU.