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Men’s tennis braces for No. 2 Georgia at NCAAs
Bearcats making ninth NCAA appearance, will face host Bulldogs at 1 p.m. on Friday
May 9, 2013Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
VESTAL, N.Y.—Binghamton men’s tennis departed from campus Wednesday afternoon en route to Athens, Ga. and the NCAA Regionals. The Bearcats (16-9) will face University of Georgia (22-4) at 1 p.m. on Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Wake Forest and Northwestern play in the opening match at 10 a.m. The host Bulldogs are ranked No. 2 in the nation and will be highest-ranked opponent BU has faced in its Division I history.
“We have prepared for Georgia the way we have for any other match,” said head coach Adam Cohen, five-time America East Coach of the Year. “They are obviously very good at every spot on the lineup. We will need to come out and play smart, with energy and leave it all on the court. Their facility is a great setting for college tennis and we’re excited to be there. We will need to start playing well from the very first point in doubles and make them feel it will be a dogfight. Our guys have to be ready mentally and play every point like it’s the last point. The guys are confident and we expect to play hard and give them the best match we can.”
Binghamton earned its sixth straight NCAA berth after capturing another America East title. The Bearcats will be making their ninth NCAA appearance in the last 11 years.
The Bearcats are led by two freshmen at the top of the singles lineup. First-year standout Sid Hazarika (21-3) was crowned the America East Player and Rookie of the Year after producing a remarkable spring season. Hazarika beat two top-10 regional players and went 10-1 after taking over the top singles position in late March. He also plays at the top doubles spot alongside the team’s lone senior, Bastian Bornkessel.
The rest of BU’s starting lineup includes freshman No. 2 Alexander Maisin (18-15), sophomore No. 3 Robin Lesage (20-11), sophomore No. 4 Ismael Dinia (17-13), junior No. 5 Ruben Haggai (22-9) and sophomore No. 6 Florian van Kann (11-9).
Haggai, the Most Outstanding Player at the America East Championship, has rattled off 14 consecutive wins. He pairs with freshman Eliott Hureau at the No. 2 doubles spot and Lesage and Dinia form BU’s third doubles team. Dinia is a team-best 18-11 in doubles this season.
Georgia, the reigning SEC champions, has won 13 matches in a row and 17 of its last 18. The team is making its 35th overall appearance in the tournament and 30th straight. Georgia reached the NCAA quarterfinals in 2012, and has reached the finals in three of the last seven seasons. In all, the Bulldogs own six NCAA championships, most recently winning in back-to-back seasons in 2007-08.
But the hosts took a hit on Wednesday with the announcement that the team’s top player, senior KU Singh, has left the team in the eve of the NCAA tournament. Singh was the nation’s fourth-ranked singles player. His departure means that everyone bumps up in the Bulldogs’ lineup, which still boasts three ranked singles players and two ranked doubles tandems.
Friday, May 10
10 a.m. – Wake Forest vs. Northwestern
1 p.m. – Georgia vs. Binghamton
Saturday, May 11
3 p.m. – Winner Match 1 vs. 2
BU’s Division I NCAA History
2003 – Minneapolis Regional (lost to 11th-ranked Minnesota 4-0)
2004 – Oxford, Miss. Regional (lost to 8th-ranked Ole Miss 4-0)
2005 – Baton Rouge, La. Regional (lost to 10th-ranked LSU 4-0)
2008 – Tulsa, Okla. Regional (lost to 10th-ranked Tulsa 4-0)
2009 – College Station, Texas Regional (lost to 15th-ranked Texas A&M 4-0)
2010 – Lexington, Ky. Regional (lost to 24th-ranked Georgia Tech, 4-1)
2011 – Los Angeles Regional (lost to 12th-seeded UCLA 4-0)
2012 - Oxford, Miss. Regional (lost to 13th-seeded Ole Miss 4-0)
2013 - Athens, Ga. Regional (facing second-ranked Georgia)