May 12, 2016
BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 36 LSU men’s tennis team (14-11, 5-7 SEC) begins the first round of the NCAA tournament against No. 26 Rice (23-7) in a 10 a.m. matchup Friday at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center on host TCU’s campus in Fort Worth, Texas.
“Rice has had one of their best years in a long time,” Head Coach Jeff Brown said. “They’ve had some good wins against some very good teams. Having lost to them earlier in the year, at Rice, we know what they’re capable of and we are looking forward to playing them again.”
LSU is coming off a 4-2 loss against Vanderbilt in the first round of the SEC Tournament and has spent the last two weeks preparing for the NCAA Tournament.
This is Coach Brown’s 17th tournament appearance in his 19 seasons at LSU. The Tigers rank second in the SEC for the most tournament appearances behind Georgia’s 38 and are ranked eighth in all-time NCAA appearances.
The Tigers have two ranked singles players, Jordan Daigle at No. 44 and Justin Butsch who is ranked 74th. Daigle and doubles partner Boris Arias moved to No. 6 in doubles this week and have stayed ranked all season.
Rice looks to their court one pair, Tommy Bennett and David Warren, as their lone ranked team members at No. 29. In their last matchup Rice edged out the Tigers, 4-3, in Houston with a three set court two clinch from Tommy Bennett for the Owls.
Coach Brown acknowledged the competition and depth in the league, commenting on the exclusivity of being selected for the tournament.
“With the increase of talent in men’s tennis, we really appreciate the opportunity to make the tournament, first of all. With that being said, we are not just satisfied being here, we are looking forward to winning as many matches as possible and getting everything out of it that we can,” Brown said.
The winner of this match will continue to the second round of the NCAA Tournament to face the winner of the TCU/Jackson State competition, which will take place Saturday, May 14 at 1 p.m. CT.
For up-to-date information and behind-the-scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men’s tennis team on Twitter and Instagram at @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.