LUBBOCK, Texas (Texas Tech Press Release) – After a one-year hiatus, Texas Tech is back in the NCAA Championships.
No. 35 Texas Tech (13-10) will face No. 19 California (15-7) in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships at 9 a.m. CT on Saturday, May 10 at the Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station.
The winner will advance to face the winner of No. 8 Texas A&M (24-6) and Alcorn State (10-10), who face off at noon on Friday. The two winners will meet at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
Texas Tech’s selection marks the eighth time in the last 10 years that the Red Raiders have advanced to the NCAA Championships. It is also the school’s 13th overall appearance, all under head coach Tim Siegel, who recorded his 300th career win earlier this season.
The Red Raiders finished in a tie for fourth place this season and are one of five Big 12 Conference Schools to reach the NCAA Championships, joining No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 6 Baylor, No. 7 Texas and No. 28 Oklahoma State.
The Red Raiders fell in the first round of the Big 12 Championships to No. 30 Oklahoma State, 4-3, on Friday.
The Red Raiders are led by sophomores Felipe Soares (22-10) and Hugo Dojas (19-12). In fact, Texas Tech is the youngest team ranked in the ITA Top 75, as the Red Raiders’ starting lineup features one junior two sophomores and three freshmen. Soares is ranked No. 64, while Dojas is No. 99 in the most recent ITA Men’s Singles Rankings.
The NCAA will announce the players selected for the NCAA Individual Singles and Doubles Championships on Tuesday. Soares is on the bubble to land a spot in the 64-man field. With his most recent win over Oklahoma State’s No. 70 Jakob Sude, Soares could jump into the Top 58 players. Soares is 7-8 this season against ITA Top 125 players. Over the last six years, every play inside the Top 58 in the ITA Men’s Singles rankings have earned a spot in the NCAA Individual Championships.
Texas Tech will face California in the first round. The Bears have been ranked as high as No. 9 nationally before three of their last six matches down the stretch. The Red Raiders are 1-2 all-time against the Bears, including dropping a heart-breaking 4-3 match to Cal at the 2012 NCAA Championships in the second round.
Texas A&M enters the tournament winning 13 of its last 14 matches, including capturing the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Nashville. The Aggies lead the all-times series with the Red Raiders 49-17-1, which dates back to 1958.
Alcorn State captured both the regular season and postseason title from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Braves were 8-0 in SWAC play and 10-10 on the season. Texas Tech and Alcorn State have never met in men’s collegiate tennis.
Every match of the 2014 championships will be a regulation dual match with three eight-game, pro-set doubles played for one team point, followed by six singles matches, each valued at one team point, played best of three sets. Regular scoring will be used and a 12-point tiebreaker will be played at eight games all in doubles and at six games all in singles.