April 29, 2009

Men's Tennis Earns NCAA Tourney Bid

The Ferris State University men's tennis team has been selected to participate in the 2009 NCAA Division II Championships. The 64 selected teams along with the 16 first and second-round regional sites were announced Wednesday (April 29) by the NCAA-II Men's and Women's Tennis Committee.

Each of the following eight regions will conduct two regional preliminary-round tournaments: Atlantic, Central, East, Midwest, South, South Central, Southeast and West. Both the Northwood and Rockhurst (Mo.) men's teams were selected to host Midwest Regional play. Sixteen men's and women's regional preliminary-round tournaments will be held with the winner of each advancing into the 16-team single-elimination national championship field (sweet sixteen) slated for May 13-16 at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

The Bulldog men's tennis team will compete in one of two NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournaments next Thursday and Friday, May 7-8, at Northwood University in Midland, Mich. FSU will square off against West Michigan rival Grand Valley State on Thursday (May 7) at 9 a.m. (EDT). The other first-round match in the Northwood regional pits the host Timberwolves versus fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) member Michigan Tech starting at 11 a.m. (EDT) with the winners slated to meet Friday (May 8) in the final at 10 a.m. (EDT).

All matches in the Northwood regional are slated to be held outside on-campus at NU's Gerstacker Tennis Center. The Midland Community Tennis Center will be used in the event of rain or inclement weather.

The selections of teams for the championship was based on prescribed criteria listed in the NCAA-II Men's and Women's Tennis Championships Handbook and approved by the NCAA-II Championships Committee.

The Ferris State men's team, presently 13-7 overall, will be making its 12th consecutive and 15th overall NCAA-II Regional Tournament appearance. Last season (2008), FSU fell to West Virginia Wesleyan 5-2 in the regional first round (5/8) at Midland, Mich. Ferris has advanced to the NCAA-II "Sweet Sixteen" round nine times overall in its history.

Ferris State placed third overall at the 2009 GLIAC Men's Tennis Tournament under second-year head coach Alex Palladino nearly two weeks ago (April 18-19) at the Midland Community Tennis Center.

The Bulldogs split two meetings this campaign with Grand Valley State, which currently owns a 20-8 overall record and was the league tournament runner-up. Ferris recorded a thrilling 5-4 home victory over the Lakers in the regular-season finale (April 14) at the FSU Racquet and Fitness Center in Big Rapids, but suffered a identical 5-4 setback to GVSU in the conference tournament semifinals (April 18) at Midland only four days later.

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