No. 34 Blue Raiders head for HEB Classic
Eight team field features No. 30 BYUFebruary 28, 2013 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Touting the highest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) ranking since the arrival of head coach Jimmy Borendame, the No. 34 Blue Raider men's tennis squad will head for Corpus Christi, Texas, this weekend to compete at the HEB Classic, March 1-2.
"The HEB event has been a tough event for us the past couple years," Borendame said. "We've failed to get past the first round, and this year we're looking forward to trying to come back with the trophy in hand."
The Blue Raiders are guaranteed three team duals, starting with an opening round draw against DePaul.
MT is the No. 2 seed in the tournament, ranked behind Brigham Young (ranked No. 30 ITA), and will face either Sun Belt rival South Alabama or future Conference USA rival UTSA in the second round.
"The field is loaded," Borendame said. "I think all eight teams in the event this year were ranked in the top 75 at the end of last year. We're not looking past the first round. We've got to take care of business and see if our legs can hold up throughout the tournament, because it's a lot of tennis."
The Blue Raiders squared off with UTSA last week, a 7-0 victory at Nashboro Village in Nashville, Tenn.
On the other side of the bracket, BYU will face the host school, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the opening round, while Western Michigan and Louisiana will square off.
MT and BYU are the two schools in the field to have individuals and/or doubles ranked. Patrick Kawka and Francis Sargeant are No. 50 in doubles, while Kawka is ranked 47th in singles. MT's Ben Davis is No. 92 in the latest release, and the doubles pair of Davis and Victor Cornea is No. 35.
In addition to the UTSA win last weekend, MT fell 4-3 in a close matchup with No. 10 Mississippi State, though Davis and Cornea picked up a key win over then-13th ranked Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp.
"To go 4-3 with the (then) No. 11 team in the nation when we hadn't even played a practice set outside, that gives us a lot of momentum," Borendame said. "Everything's really been sparked by the loss at Northwestern. The team has really come together. There is a lot of energy, a lot of intensity, and I truly believe we're going to have success at the HEB."
To view the complete bracket, click here.
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