ATHENS, Ga. (Texas Tech Press Release) – The wait is over for Texas Tech sophomore Felipe Soares, as the Red Raider moved from alternate to in the field on Wednesday for the 2014 NCAA Singles Championships at the Magill Tennis Center.
Soares is slated to take on Texas A&M’s No. 22 Shane Vinsant at 5 p.m. CT on the campus of the University of Georgia at the Magill Tennis Center. The match will air online at NCAA.com.
“What a great accomplishment to make the NCAA Championships as a sophomore,” said Texas Tech head coach Tim Siegel. “I am so proud of his progression. He has gone from No. 7 in our lineup as a freshman to playing in the NCAAs as a sophomore.”
Soares, a native of Brazil, replaces Oklahoma’s No. 5 Guillermo Alcorta, who pulled out of the event after the Sooners fell in the NCAA title match to USC, 4-2, on Tuesday night.
The Texas Tech sophomore is 22-11 on the season and ranked No. 60 nationally. It is the highest ITA ranking in the young player’s career. He went 14-9 at No. 1 singles for Texas Tech and was also 7-8 against nationally-ranked players. In two seasons, Soares is 37-19 in singles play.
Soares has been sitting in Athens practicing with hitting partner Hugo Dojas and waiting to see if he would get in the field. On Monday, he moved from second alternate to first alternate. Today, he is in the field.
He is the first Red Raider in the field since Gonzalo Escobar earned All-America honors at the 2012 NCAA Singles Championships. It also marks only the second time in Texas Tech history that an alternate has earned a spot in the field. Bojan Szumanski and Christian Rojmar were the second alternate at the 2007 NCAA Doubles Championships.
Soares’ selection marks the 14th Red Raider to earn an appearance at the NCAA Individual Championships. He is the 10th Texas Tech netter to appear in the singles event. The previous 13 Red Raiders have made 21 appearances, including 13 singles appearances.
He is also just the fourth sophomore in program history to earn a spot in the field, joining Escobar, Raony Carvalho and Matt Jackson.