ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - It's postseason tournament time again for the 13th-ranked UC San Diego men's tennis team, which opens play at the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships Wednesday at Sanlando Park outside of Orlando.
UCSD takes on No. 17 Midwestern State, out of Wichita Falls, Texas, in the round of 16 at 10:30 a.m. (PT). The match can be followed with live scoring.
The Tritons, 15-9 overall, are one of two teams from the West Region to advance directly to the finals site in Florida. They are the second seed from the West, while No. 2 Hawaii Pacific is the top seed from the region.
Midwestern State edged 24th-ranked St. Edward's, 5-4, in the South Central Region 1 championship match Sunday to earn a spot in the final 16 for the second straight season. The Mustangs, who have won five straight matches, are 18-6 overall.
"We're excited about being here," said UCSD head coach Timmer Willing. "Midwestern is an extremely good team. They've played some teams in our region and beaten them, so we know what we're up against."
Competing in doubles for the Tritons will be the duos of Max Jiganti/Kona Luu, Alexandre Miaule/Horea Porutiu and Rajeev Herekar/Mark Meyer. Jiganti, Herekar, Ganesh Alagappan, Luu, Porutiu and Meyer will represent UCSD in singles Wednesday.
The winner of the UCSD/MSU contest will move on to face the winner of the Edinboro/West Florida match in the quarterfinals Thursday at 10 a.m. (PT). West Florida is currently the top-ranked team in the country, while Edinboro is not ranked nationally.
Other round of 16 match-ups include Northwest Missouri State/Northwood, Armstrong Atlantic/NYIT, Bluefield State/Southwest Baptist, Columbus State/Hawaii Pacific, Cameron/Concordia (N.Y.) and Barry/Drury.
"The field is deep this year and all of the matches are going to be very competitive," said Willing. "We're looking forward to playing as it's been a long time since our last competition."
The Tritons were last on the courts in a competitive sense almost a month ago when they played at UCLA on April 16.
UCSD has qualified for the NCAA postseason in 13 of the last 14 years, missing out just once (2012) since the school moved to Division II status prior to the team's 2001 campaign.
Last season, the Tritons also advanced directly to the NCAA Finals, which were held in Surprise, Ariz. UCSD won its opening round match, defeating Southern Indiana by a 5-3 count. In the quarterfinals, the season came to an end with a 5-1 loss against West Florida.
Barry won the 2013 national title by edging Armstrong Atlantic, 5-4, in the championship match.