AU Tennis to play No. 12 Aquinas at nationals
WILMORE, Ky. – The Asbury men’s tennis team will face No. 12 Aquinas (Mich.) at the 2013 NAIA National Tournament in Mobile, Ala. on Tuesday, May 14 at 10 a.m. (E.S.T.). The Eagles are making their second overall and second straight appearance in the tournament while Aquinas is making their 11th appearance in the tournament.
Asbury wrapped up back-to-back Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships with a perfect 6-0 run through the regular season and then claimed the tournament title with a 5-0 victory over Brescia University in the finals. The Eagles carry a 16-3 overall record and were ranked 31st in the final NAIA Coaches Poll. Asbury will be the No. 21 seed in the 24-team field in Mobile.
Aquinas rolls into the tournament with the most wins of any team at 23-4 and winners of the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference with a perfect 4-0 mark. The Saints qualified for the tournament by winning an Unaffiliated Tournament with the Midwest Collegiate Conference and Association of Independent Institutions, defeating Northwestern Ohio 5-1 in the finals. NW Ohio qualified for the NAIA Tournament as an at-large selection.
Asbury and Aquinas had one common opponent this season, No. 7 Bethel (Tenn.). The Eagles fell to the Wildcats back on March 21 in Lexington 9-0 while Aquinas lost on March 5 in Orlando. Fla. 6-3. The Saints have won 17-straight since that loss.
Aquinas top player, Aaron Hendrick, is currently ranked 18 in the latest ITA NAIA rankings and is 5th in the ITA East Region, both Asbury and Aquinas are in the East region. No other player for either team is ranked in the national top-50 Hendrick and partner Nik Artaev are ranked 10th nationally in doubles and 3rd in the region. Asbury’s top pair Nathan Schley and Scott Layton are ranked 7th in the region for doubles.
The top-eight teams receive a bye to the second round with Embry-Riddle taking the top spot. Lindsey Wilson is the 8th seed and Bethel (Tenn.), two teams the Eagles played this season, is 7th. First round action begins at 9 a.m. local time (10 a.m. eastern) on May 14 with eight first round matches.