FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s tennis teams learned late Wednesday (April 28) that they both have earned invitations to participate in the NCAA Division II Tournament, and both will be heading to Savannah, Ga., for one of the Southeast Regionals.
This is the fifth consecutive trip to the NCAAs for the FMU women, and the 10th in the past 16 years. The Patriot men earn an invitation for the third year in a row and the 14th time in the past 16 seasons.
This year’s 64-team women’s field consists of 16 regional sites. FMU will play in one of the two Southeast Regionals on Thursday through Saturday, May 6-8. Top-ranked and unbeaten Armstrong Atlantic State University (27-0) will serve as the host with competition being played at Savannah’s Bacon Park. Each of the 16 regional winners will advance to the national finals, May 12-15, in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
The 16-5 FMU women, who are ranked 13th nationally, will play on Friday, May 7, at 2 p.m. against 22nd-ranked Flagler College (14-7). There will be one first-round match on Thursday (May 6) with 40th-ranked Queen University of Charlotte (19-1) playing 47th-ranked Erskine College (17-7) at 2 p.m. The winner of Thursday match advances to face AASU on Friday at 2 p.m. Friday’s two winners will meet in the regional title contest on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The 62-team men’s field also consists of 16 regional sites. The AASU men, also top-ranked with a 27-1 mark, will also host this men’s Southeast Regional, on May 6-8 at Bacon Park. As with the women, each regional winner will advance to the national finals, May 12-15, in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
The FMU men are ranked 13th with an 11-7 record.
The men’s regional will begin with two first-round matches on Thursday at 10 a.m. Sixteenth-ranked Flagler (13-8) will play 34th-ranked Limestone College (12-10) and 24th-ranked Anderson University (13-8) will face 25th-ranked Less-McRae College (15-5). FMU will meet the Flagler/Limestone winner on Friday at 10 a.m., while AASU gets the Anderson/Lees-McRae winner also at 10 a.m. on Friday. The men’s regional championship match is set for Saturday at 10 a.m.
Last year, the Patriot women won their respective regional and advanced to the national championships for the second year-in-a-row. The FMU men won a regional title in 2008, but last year lost in the regional semifinals.
The FMU women are familiar with Flagler having beaten the Saints 7-2 in Florence on March 27 and 5-3 in the opening round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament on April 16. Of the men’s possible two opponents, FMU and Limestone did not play this season, while the Patriots swept two matches from Flagler, winning 6-3 and 5-1.
Long-time FMU head coach Garth Thomson has directed the Patriot men to a 263-125 record and the women to a 233-154 mark in 18 seasons.
2010 NCAA II Women's Tennis Southeast Regional
May 6-8, 2010, at Bacon Park in Savannah, Ga.
Thursday May 6
2 pm - Match 1 #40 Queens University of Charlotte (19-1) vs. #47 Erskine College (17-7)
Friday, May 7 (Regional Semifinals)
2 pm – Match 2 #13 Francis Marion University (16-5) vs. #22 Flagler College (14-7)
2 pm – Match 3 #1 Armstrong Atlantic State University (27-0) vs. winner Match 1
Saturday May 8 (Regional Final)
2 pm – Match 4 winner Match 2 vs. winner Match 3
2010 NCAA II Men's Tennis Southeast Regional
May 6-8, 2009, at Bacon Park in Savannah, Ga.
Thursday, May 6
10 am – Match 1 #16 Flagler College (13-8) vs. #34 Limestone College (12-10)
10 am – Match 2 #24 Anderson University (13-8) vs. #25 Lees-McRae College (15-5)
Friday, May 7 (Regional Semifinals)
10 am – Match 3 #13 Francis Marion University (11-7) vs. winner Match 1
10 am – Match 4 #1 Armstrong Atlantic State University (27-1) vs. winner Match 2
Saturday, May 8 (Regional Final)
10 am – Match 5 winner Match 3 vs. winner Match 4