April 28, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- The 41st-ranked University of New Mexico men's tennis team will duel the University of Minnesota in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, beginning Friday, May 8, in Los Angeles, Calif.. The winner of the Minnesota-New Mexico match faces the winner of the USC-UC Santa Barbara match in the second round on Saturday, May 9. The winner of the regional advances to the NCAA National Tournament in College Station, Texas, May 14-19.
The Lobos (20-5) are making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance and their first since 2004. New Mexico earned the Mountain West Conference automatic bid on Saturday, April 25, with a 4-3 win over TCU in the conference tournament championship match.
The Gophers are ranked 33rd on the season with an 18-7 record. UNM and Minnesota have met seven times, with the Gophers holding a 4-3 edge. The last meeting was in 2007, a 5-2 New Mexico win.
"It is certainly one of our goals every year to get to the NCAA Tournament," head coach Alan Dils said. "Finally getting back into the tournament especially in this fashion is fantastic. It is exciting for the team and the seniors who have been working hard for this for four years. Nothing is going to be easy, but we have a great opportunity."
The NCAA will announce the individual singles and doubles participants on Wednesday, April 29, at 4 p.m. MDT. All-conference players Johnny Parkes, Miles Bugby and Graeme Kassautzki hope to hear their name called again for the individual spots. Singles and doubles competition runs May 20-25 also in College Station, Texas.