Southland Conference Men’s Tennis Tournament Opens Friday

first_imgCORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The 2019 Southland Conference Men’s Tennis Tournament begins Friday at 10 a.m. CT. at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, hosted by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The championship is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday. No. 3 Incarnate Word (11-7, 3-2 SLC)The Cardinals follow up their regular-season title in 2018 with a second-straight tournament appearance since they were eligible for postseason play after completing their transition to Division I. Freshman Oliver Valentinsson impressed in his first year at UIW, earning first-team all-conference recognition at No. 4 singles with an unblemished 3-0 mark in Southland contests. The Cardinals were also represented on the all-league teams by duo Paco Bendana and Caleb Dyer, who snagged second team honors at No. 2 doubles. No. 2 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (17-8, 4-1 SLC)Making their ninth-straight appearance in the Southland Conference tournament, the host Islanders are chasing a seventh-consecutive championship match berth and a fourth title in that span. A&M-Corpus Christi matched ACU with a pair of all-conference flights on both the first and second teams. A first-team selection at No. 2 singles, Francois Kellerman and brother Okkie also earned second team honors at No. 1 doubles. Francois Kellerman ended the year with a 4-1 singles record and a 3-2 doubles mark in conference play. In the regular season, the Islanders edged UIW 4-3 to spark a four-match win streak to conclude the regular season. No. 1 Abilene Christian (21-4, 5-0 SLC) The Wildcats make their second appearance in the conference tournament in as many years of postseason eligibility, coming off a clean sweep of both their regular-season contests and the league’s individual awards. Ranked No. 112 in the latest ITA Division I singles poll, senior Josh Sheehy ended the regular season on a seven-match singles win streak to finish 18-4 and a perfect 5-0 in league play. Akinori Wada took home Newcomer of the Year honors, while Dimitris Azoides was crowned Freshman of the Year. Rounding out the honorees is Coach of the Year Hutton Jones, whose ACU squad took five individual matches over nationally-ranked opponents and garnered six overall all-conference selections. In the regular season,  the Wildcats swept Nicholls 7-0. Four teams fight for the tournament championship with Abilene Christian heading into the tournament as the No. 1 seed following its first 5-0 finish in Southland Conference play. The Wildcats will face No. 4 Nicholls in the first round. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed, facing No. 3-seeded Incarnate Word. No. 4 Nicholls (6-15, 1-4 SLC)After the Colonels had a six-year streak of appearing in the Southland Conference Tennis Tournament snapped last season, they return to the event in 2019 under head coach Greg Harkins. In the regular-season finale against Lamar, sophomores Nestor Giribet Lopez and Eduardo Marino battled back from first-set losses to clinch the final two points necessary for a 4-3 victory. The win leapfrogged the Colonels into the tournament.last_img

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