Blue Raider Netters Face Auburn Without Schledorn In Regionals

May 13, 2005 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee men's tennis coach Dale Short has spent the week shuffling his line-up after learning Kai Schledorn does not expect to return to participate in the NCAA Regional match against 36th-ranked Auburn Saturday in Oxford, Miss.

Schledorn left Murfreesboro to be with his ailing mother in Germany, May 4, and had hoped to return for the postseason; however, it is not going to be possible and Marc Boiron will move into the starting lineup when 30th-ranked Middle Tennessee (18-6) faces Auburn (12-9) Saturday at 11 a.m. Fourth-ranked Ole Miss (21-3), the No. 3 national seed, plays Jacksonville State (14-9) at 2 p.m.

Since Schledorn played at No. 3 singles, the number one and two spots will not change; however, everyone else will be bumped up one position and Boiron will play at No. 6. Middle Tennessee's lineup will include Brandon Allen (16-4), Marco Born (13-9), Greg Pollack (12-10), Anant Sitaram (15-7), Andreas Siljestrom (13-6) and Boiron (1-0).

"The big thing kind of hanging over us is the deal with (Schledorn), so we just kind of have to deal with the doubles and move on from there," Short said. "We still have an excellent chance, as good of a chance as we ever did before. We can't afford to have one or two players having a bad day.

"In the past with Kai in there, you may have one or two players with an off-day and you could still be OK, but now the situation is if you have one or two players have a bad day, then you probably are going to lose."

Short said he will have to decide whether to keep two of the doubles teams intact or make changes against Auburn.

"We have been looking at practice and we will decide what the best scenario will be," Short said. "I am leaning toward keeping two of the teams intact and I think we can get away with that because they both have excellent records."

Born and Siljestrom are 19-2 in doubles play. Schledorn was 16-6 when paired with Allan, so Short will decide if he will put Allan and Boiron together or go a different route.

Middle Tennessee is making its seventh trip to the NCAA Tennis Regionals under Short, but its first since 2002 when the Blue Raiders traveled to Oxford and beat Alabama before falling to Ole Miss in the round of 32. The Blue Raiders won their first Sun Belt men's tennis championship and enter the regional with a boost of confidence.

"I would be shocked and disappointed if our team went in there and played not too lose," Short said. "I don't believe we will be in awe of the situation. We have played a tough schedule and that helps prepare you for this situation."

Single day passes for the regional are $7, while a weekend pass is $10. The two winners Saturday will meet Sunday at 1 p.m. with a berth in the Sweet 16 on the line.

Live scoring will be available through a link on the men's tennis page at GoBlueRaiders.com.

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