Wednesday, April 30, 2003
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama men’s tennis team (17-9, 4-7 SEC) is the No. 15 seed overall and will play Marist in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday May 10th in Cambridge, Mass.
Harvard, the event host, and Virginia Commonwealth are the other two teams in the four-team regional. There are 16 seeded teams in the 64-team field, one seeded team at each host site. VCU is ranked 17th in the Omni Hotels collegiate tennis rankings, Harvard is ranked 40th and Marist is unranked.
“Since I was a kid I knew I would make it to Harvard some day,” assistant coach Mario Rincon said.
“I think the draw gives us a fair chance to achieve our goal of advancing to the sweet 16 in Athens,” Alabama head coach Billy Pate said. “It is a very balanced regional. We don’t know much about Marist but we cannot take them lightly. Virginia Commonweath and Harvard are both very good teams and it will be tough to advance.”
“Harvard is a great deal,” Alabama senior William Boyles said. “I would much rather go there than some of the other places we might have gone. We’ve played at Harvard before so that’s an advantage I think we’ll have a good chance to succeed.”
The Tide played on the courts in the Crimson Fall Classic during open play in the fall. The winner of the regional will advance to Athens, Ga. for the “sweet 16”, the championship site.