April 30, 1997
Texas Tech Men's Tennis Receives NCAA Regional Bid
Red Raiders Advance to Post-Season Play for Third Time in Four Years
LUBBOCK, Texas - For the third time in four years, the Texas Tech men's tennis team received an invitation to participate in the NCAA Tournament, it was announced today by the NCAA Selection Committee.
The Red Raiders will travel to Fort Worth to face 37th-ranked Southern Methodist University at a time to be determined on Friday, May 2. SMU is 17-6 on the season and finished with second-round loss to Tulsa in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament last week in Fort Worth.
"Considering all of the adversity we have been through this season, we are really thrilled to be invited to play in the NCAA Tournament," said Texas Tech Director of Tennis Tim Siegel, who coached the women's team at SMU and was an assistant for the men's team from 1990-92. "We had several injuries early in the season that we had to play through. One of our top recruits left to go back to England after one week for personal reasons. And, we played without a real dominating number one player.
"With all of that, we still managed to beat three ranked teams, finish sixth in one of the toughest men's tennis conferences in the nation and receive our third bid to the NCAA Tournament in four years. With not one senior on our team, I think we will be able to look back on this season as a real key to becoming a legitimate top-25 program. In the three years we've gone to the NCAA Tournament, this is most satisfying. It was all or nothing against Texas A&M and we came through with a big win on the road."
Six teams were invited to participate in the Southwest Regional, including: Texas, SMU, Texas Tech, Texas Christian, Arkansas, Southwestern Louisiana, Northeaster Louisiana and Texas A&M.
The Red Raiders were one of seven of the 10 Big 12 Conference teams that sponsor men's tennis to receive an NCAA Tournament invitation. Texas Tech finished the season with an 11-13 overall record and 4-5 mark and in fifth-place in the Big 12. Texas Tech is seeded fifth in the region.
Texas Tech junior Tylir Jimenez (Richardson, Texas) led the Red Raiders with a 16-7 overall singles record on the season and played each of the top four positions in the lineup. Junior Petar Danolic (Zagreb, Croatia) recorded a 5-3 record at the Nos. one and two positions and teamed with junior Doug Lacy (Dallas, Texas) to fashion a 5-2 mark in doubles.