16-Time NCAA Champs Await Eagles in NCAA First Round
April 29, 2008
The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team will take on No. 3 UCLA (21-1, 7-0 Pacific-10 Conference) in the first round of the NCAA Championship at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus at noon on May 10.
The team watched the NCAA Selection Show, broadcast on ESPNews, with about 50 people at the Main Street Deli in Tawanka Commons on the EWU campus on Tuesday (April 29).
"That was a really awesome experience for the team to see Eastern Washington University up on ESPNews paired with UCLA," interim head coach Darren Haworth said. "It's going to be a great experience for the guys.
"We got a lot of support for the Watch Party. It was good to have everybody out there. I know the guys were really jazzed about it."
The Eagles claimed its entry into the field after dispatching Sacramento State 4-3 in the Big Sky Conference's championship match on Sunday (April 27), earning its first-ever berth in the NCAA field.
Eastern Washington (18-6) is in the midst of its best season in school history, as the Eagles have set school marks for wins, Big Sky wins (going 7-1) and winning percentage in records kept since the program joined the NCAA Division I ranks in 1984.
"I'm really proud of the guys; it's been a great season," Haworth said.
UCLA just won its fifth consecutive Pac-10 title after defeating USC (19-4, 6-1 Pac-10) 4-3 in its final regular-season match of the year on April 18. The Bruins have claimed 16 NCAA titles, last winning it in 2005. The team currently has four singles players and one doubles tandem ranked in the top-75 nationally.
"Getting to play a team like UCLA is what guys play Division I tennis for, the opportunity to play a top team like that," Haworth said.
The other first round match will see Washington (14-9) take on Wisconsin (17-9) at 9 a.m.. The winners will meet in the second round at 1 p.m. on May 11 with the winner advancing to the Round of 16, to be played on May 16 in Tulsa, Okla.
Tickets may be purchased on the dates of competition. Adult prices are $7 and student/youth will be $5. All tickets are general admission, first come first serve.