Phoenix Arrives in Malibu, Ready for First NCAA Tournament
MALIBU, Calif. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's tennis team will make its first NCAA Tournament appearance on Friday when it faces No. 7 Pepperdine at 4 p.m. CT in Malibu, Calif., at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center.
The Phoenix and the Waves will square off in the second of two first-round contests in Malibu on Friday, as No. 28 Washington and No. 38 North Carolina State are slated to play first at 1 p.m. CT. The two winners will battle on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the right to head to Athens, Ga., for the remainder of the NCAA Tournament.
Green Bay arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon and practiced on Pepperdine's campus in preparation for Friday's match. To watch a video with player interviews from Wednesday's practice, click here. To view a photo gallery, click here.
NCAA TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: For more information on the Pepperdine regional, including details on all four participating teams, visit the Tournament Central page on PepperdineSports.com
FOLLOW IT LIVE: Live scores will be available for the Green Bay vs. Pepperdine match, which can be accessed here. Fans can also track the match and everything leading up to it by following @GBPhoenix and @RyanHartwig on Twitter and by visiting the Green Bay Phoenix Facebook page.
SCOUTING PEPPERDINE: The Waves went 23-6 this season and won the West Coast Conference Tournament by defeating No. 25 San Diego 4-1 in the championship match on April 28. The win marked the school's 42nd WCC title since 1958. Pepperdine has now won 20 consecutive dual matches, which is tied for the longest win streak in program history. The Waves are led by 10th-year head coach Adam Steinberg - winner of the 2006 NCAA Coach of the Year award after leading his team to the school's first national championship. For more on Pepperdine, click here.
ROAD TO THE TOURNAMENT: The Phoenix earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament by winning the 2012 Horizon League Championship - the first conference title in school history. No. 2 Green Bay defeated fourth-seeded Cleveland State 4-1 on April 29, ending the Vikings' run of four straight conference championships.
Fourth-year head coach Mark Thomas and Green Bay registered a school-record 19 wins in 2012, going 19-6 overall 6-1 in the Horizon League. The Phoenix had a league-best three All-Horizon League selections, as senior Paul Swanson (Coon Rapids, Minn.) and freshman Michael Tenzer (Neuried, Germany) were named to the first team and junior Erik Finkenbrink (Duelman, Germany) picked up second team honors.
SELECTION EXCITEMENT: The Phoenix gathered at The Bar on Lime Kiln in Green Bay last Tuesday to watch the NCAA.com selection show to find out its opponent in the school's first NCAA Tournament. For more on the selection show, including a video of the team's reaction, click here.
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