May 12, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's tennis team will drive three hours to play a team located half an hour away when they play Roger Williams in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championships Friday at Amherst College.
The Corsairs and Hawks will meet in a first round match at 9:00 a.m. Friday at the Amherst College Tennis Courts.
UMass Dartmouth takes an 11-0 record into Friday's match after winning the Little East Conference tournament last Saturday. RWU is 17-6 and won the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship last weekend. Both teams are making their second appearance in three years in the NCAAs. UMD and Roger Williams last met in 2009, when the Corsairs won, 5-4, in a season in which both teams advanced to the NCAA Division III Championships at Williams.
Amherst is hosting both men's and women's tennis regionals this weekend, as well as the New England Small College Athletic Conference baseball tournament, and two universities are holding graduations. As a result, local lodging is scarce, and the Corsairs will stay in Brattleboro, VT, about an hour's drive north of the tennis courts.
"The travel situation is kind of a hindrance," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Tom Mendell. "It will require an early wake-up call for our match."
The only common opponent the teams had was Bridgewater State, which both UMD and RWU defeated. "Roger Williams returns several players from their team in 2009, and they also added additional talent," said Mendell. "I feel confident about the matchups, but we'll have to play up to our expectations."
The winner of the match between UMD and RWU will play host Amherst Saturday at 9 a.m. with Skidmore playing the College of New Jersey in Saturday's other match-up at the same time. The winners meet Sunday at 12 noon for the regional championship and a spot in the quarter-finals in Claremont, CA May 24th.
"It's a great experience for our team, to travel out of town and see some of these teams and their level of play," said Mendell. "If we defeat Roger Williams, we will play Amherst College, which is 31-1 and highly ranked. I am looking forward to the experience we will gain from these matches. Hopefully, it will help us down the road."
UMASS DARTMOUTH TENNIS