FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s tennis teams learned on Thursday (April 30) that they both have earned invitations to participate in the NCAA Division II Tournament, with the Patriot women set to serve as a regional tournament host for the second straight year.
This is the fourth consecutive trip to the NCAAs for the FMU women, and the ninth in the past 15 years. The Patriot men earn an invitation for the second year in a row and the 13th time in the past 15 seasons. This will be the second time Francis Marion has hosted an NCAA women’s tennis regional. The men served as a host in 2000.
This year’s 64-team women’s field consists of 16 regional sites. FMU will play host to one of two Southeast Regionals on Thursday through Saturday, May 7-9. Armstrong Atlantic State University will host the other Southeast Regional. Each of the 16 regional winners will advance to the national finals, May 13-16, in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
The 18-4 FMU women, who are ranked eighth nationally, will play on Friday, May 8, at 10 a.m. against the winner of Thursday’s 2 p.m. match between 33rd-ranked Erskine College (16-7) and Mount Olive College (12-10). The other match on Friday pits sixth-ranked Columbus State University (20-3) against 22nd-ranked Georgia College & State University (9-10) at 2 p.m. Friday’s two winners will meet in the regional title contest on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The 64-team men’s field also consists of 16 regional sites. Francis Marion will travel to Savannah, Ga., on May 7-9 for one of the two Southeast men’s regionals. GCSU will also host a men’s regional site. As with the women, each regional winner will advance to the national finals, May 13-16, in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
FMU is ranked 17th with a 15-5 record and will face Mars Hill College (13-5) on Thursday, May 7, at 2 p.m. A win would move the Patriots into the second round on Friday at 2 p.m. against ninth-ranked USC Aiken (18-4). The men’s regional championship match is set for Saturday at 2 p.m.
Last year, both Francis Marion teams won their respective regionals and advanced to the national championships in Houston, Texas, where both squads made the Elite Eight.
2009 NCAA II Women's Tennis Southeast Regional
May 7-9, 2009, at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C. (Kassab Courts)
Thursday May 7
2 pm - Match 1 #33 Erskine College (16-7) vs. Mount Olive College (12-10)
Friday, May 8 (Regional Semifinals)
10 am – Match 2 #8 Francis Marion University (18-4) vs. winner Match 1
2 pm – Match 3 #22 Georgia College & State Univ. (9-10) vs. #6 Columbus State University (20-3)
Saturday May 9 (Regional Finals)
1 pm – Match 4 winner Match 2 vs winner Match 3
2009 NCAA II Men's Tennis Southeast Regional
May 7-9, 2009, at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga. (AASU Tennis Complex)
Thursday, May 7
2 pm #17 Francis Marion University (15-5) vs. Mars Hill College (13-5)
5 pm #24 Augusta State University (10-10) vs. #18 Lander University (8-8)
Friday, May 8
2 pm #9 USC Aiken (18-4) vs. Francis Marion/Mars Hill winner
5:30 pm #1 Armstrong Atlantic State University (24-1) vs. Augusta State/Lander winner
Saturday, May 9
2 pm Regional Championship Match