ETSU To Face No. 17 Alabama in First Round

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The ETSU men's tennis team is headed to Durham, N.C. where it will face Alabama today in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Championship. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m.

The Bucs had a crowd on hand Tuesday afternoon in the Humphreys Center inside the Memorial Center as the selection show aired live on ESPNews.

“This is the best way for me to finish my career as a student-athlete,” said senior Felix Insaurralde (Asuncion, Paraguay) who will be making his third trip to the NCAA Championships. "Everyone on the team and in the conference dreams about getting to go the NCAAs and we just worked really hard and it’s really great.”

For sophomore Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela), it was exciting to learn who they would face in the opening round. “I’m very excited about playing Alabama. It will be a tough match but we are a tough team and they are going to have to play their best game against us. We have faced a lot of other tough teams this season and we are ready.”

Head Coach Yaser Zaatini felt positive about the Bucs drawing Alabama in the first round. “Alabama is going to be a great opponent for us. I think that we got some respect in the drawing,” said Zaatini. “When we played Tennessee we lost, 6-1 and they beat Alabama, 5-2. I think that it will be a tough match but we have a great opportunity in front of us as well. We’re playing really tough right now and I think that some of our matches during the season have prepared us for this.”

The Bucs (23-4) earned an automatic bid to the tournament by winning its first ever Atlantic-Sun Conference Tournament Championship on April 22, while the Crimson Tide (20-7), who are currently ranked No. 17 in the ITA poll, was defeated by the Florida Gators during the second round of the SEC Conference Tournament on April 20.

This will be ETSU’s fifth appearance in the NCAA tournament and third appearance in four years. For more information about the men’s tennis team and the NCAA tournament, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.