April 29, 2009

ISLANDERS DRAW ARIZONA IN NCAA FIRST ROUND

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's tennis team will be traveling to College Station to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Islanders found out their destination on Tuesday afternoon while watching the selection show at the Corpus Christi Country Club Pub.

The Islanders were given a No. 3 seed and will face Arizona in the first round of the regional.

"I didn't think it was right for us to drop in the national rankings after going undefeated in our conference," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "I think it is an honor to be a No. 3 seed and it shows the type of respect we are starting to get nationally."

Moore will be taking his team to the NCAA tournament to face off against an opposing head coach that he knows quite well.

Tad Berkowitz and Steve Moore share the distinction of being the last two assistants at Texas A&M before they left the school to take their respective jobs. Berkowitz has since moved on to Arizona and has the Wildcats in the NCAA tournament for the first time as a head coach.

Moore will be directing the Islanders to their second-straight NCAA tournament appearance, having participated in the Austin regional last season against the Texas Longhorns. This is the third NCAA tournament appearance in the history of the TAMUCC program.

"I have a ton of respect for Arizona but I can't but help but believe in our guys," said Moore. "Especially in these hot Texas conditions we will be playing in."

The Islanders go into the post-season with an overall record of 14-8 on the year and a ranking of No. 56 in the nation. The Islanders beat five ranked teams throughout the season and completed a second straight undefeated Southland Conference schedule at 6-0. The Islanders know it will not be easy but they will be up to the challenge heading into the NCAA tournament.

"The guys took one day off after winning the conference tournament and were right back to work," said Moore. "We will just keep that same blue collar work ethic the same as we have all year."

Match time for the Islanders is set for Friday, May 8 at 1:00 PM on the campus of Texas A&M at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station. Should the Islanders advance, they would face the winner of the Texas A&M and Binghamton match. The second round match would be scheduled on Saturday, May 9 at 4:00 PM.

The NCAA format is a single-elimination tournament at 16 first- and second-round sites, with four teams at each site. Regional winners will advance to the nationals, held May 14-25 at Texas A&M. Thirty-one conferences received automatic bids to the tournament, with the other 33 teams earning at-large berths.

For information on the tournament, go to www.AggieAthletics.com and click on the NCAA Tennis logo or call 1-888-99-AGGIE.