May 4, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the fourth year in a row and in front of over 100 fans at a selection show watch party, the No. 17 Florida State men’s tennis team (17-11, 8-3 ACC) received one of the 33 at-large spots in the 2006 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship. The Seminoles, who drew a No. 2 seed in the
No. 14 Ole Miss earned the right to host the regional with a 14th overall seed in the NCAA Tournament; the Rebels (20-5, 13-4 SEC) will battle
“I was a little bit surprised,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “I thought we would either be hosting in
Hultquist’s disappointment was short-lived, though, as he and assistant coach Nick Crowell quickly shifted their focus on to the Auburn Tigers.
“I don’t know a whole lot about
The Seminoles and Tigers have a deep history that dates back to the 1953 season. In fact, the two schools have faced one another 23 times and the Seminoles own a 13-10 edge. The last time
This is Florida State’s fourth-straight appearance in the Big Dance under Hultquist and the first four-peat for the Seminoles since its run of five consecutive trips from 1994-98. The seven-year net boss needs one more victory to reach career win No. 100 at FSU and two wins to become the school’s third all-time winningest coach by victories.
“Our goal is to make it to the final site so we’re not satisfied by just getting into the tournament,” Hultquist added. “We’ve won 9 of our last 12 matches, but I feel that we’ve got our best tennis ahead of us. We’ve been training hard and we are in great shape.”
Leading the way for the Seminoles is first team All-ACC selection, junior Ytai Abougzir, who is ranked No. 36 in singles. He and Chris Westerhof make up the No. 11th-ranked duo in the nation and have won seven straight matches.
“I am always looking forward to post-season play and I’m excited about the regional we drew,” said Westerhof, who has been to the NCAA Tournament four straight years. “We have been working really hard this week and we are looking forward to some good competition at the NCAA Tournament.”
Auburn, which is ranked 44th in the latest ITA ranking released on May 1, finished the season with an overall record of 14-10 and was 4-7 in Southeastern Conference play. The Tigers faced six opponents currently ranked in the top-25 this season, including No.1 Georgia.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament again this year,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. “We look forward to playing
For the seventh time in eight years, Ole Miss will be hosting the regionals.
“We’ve hosted six of the last seven years,” head coach Billy Chadwick said, “and the visiting team and fans always feel that this is one of the best locations in the country. Our tradition of hosting may very well be the determining factor in the committee’s decision.”
Tickets for the regional can be purchased by calling (662) 915-7167 or toll-free 1-888-732-8587. Single day tickets are $7 and a two-day pass is $10.
Following the announcement, the team, staff, administrators and fans gathered at the “Unconquered” statue which sits on
FSU adopted a policy two months ago that allows flames to lap more frequently from the spear of the “Unconquered” statue recognizing events of great significance and accomplishment on the FSU campus.
“I think the coaches and players take a lot of pride in the Seminole spirit,” Hultquist commented. “Lighting the torch tonight and having a selection show was really special and something we are looking forward to each year. We have the best fans in the nation and it was really special for our team and program to receive that amount of support.”