Eight Bruins-At Least-to Compete in Northwest Regional Tournament at Tualatin Hills
NEWBERG, Ore. - At least eight members of the George Fox University men’s tennis team, with a possibility of as many as four more, will compete in the 2012 USTA / ITA Small College Northwest Regional Tournament taking place this Friday-Monday, Sept. 21-24,, at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center in Beaverton, Ore.
The tournament, which is sponsored by the United States Tennis Association and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, features a draw of 64 players in the singles division and 32 pairs in the doubles. In the singles, 56 of the positions are given to automatic qualifiers, and eight more spots will be determined by a “play-in” qualifying tournament on Friday evening. In the doubles, there will be 28 automatics and four “play-in” spots, determined again by a Friday evening competition. The automatic berths are by invitation and determined by ITA rankings.
“When I took over the tennis program three years ago in 2009,” recalled Bruin head coach Neal Ninteman, “we didn’t have anybody who played in the ITA Fall Regional. Scott Barnett was our only invitee, and he couldn’t play due to other commitments. This year, we’ve got as many automatics as Whitman College and Pacific University, two of the top teams in the Northwest Conference, and that’s a testimony to how hard these kids have worked and how far along they have brought our program.”
Five Bruins are in the top 16 seeds in singles, including Justin McClain at No. 5, Shawn Aldrich at No. 8, Drew Milton at No. 9, Preston Mann at No. 13, and Chris Lilley at No. 14. Also entered for the Bruins are Andy Tweet, Chace Stalcup, and Mitchell Miyashiro. Bruins who will compete in the qualifying tournament on Friday are Peter Brown, Nolan Staples, Ben Fullhart, and Matt Deming. George Fox doubles teams participating are McClain and Lilley as No. 4 seeds, and Aldrich and Mann as No. 5 seeds.
The individual singles champion and the winning doubles team will advance to the USTA / ITA / Small College Fall National Championships on Oct. 11-14 at the Cox-Copeland Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.
George Fox is coming off the finest tennis season in its history and has eight letter winners back, including all six of its primary lineup. The Bruins went 11-8 overall in 2011-12, finished third in the conference at 9-3, then upset Pacific in the semifinals of the conference tournament before bowing to nationally-ranked Whitman. The Bruins were ranked 11th in the West Region in the final ITA poll.
George Fox is a co-host for this year’s regional along with Pacific. For a tournament bracket, go to Pacific’s sports website at http://www.goboxers.com/news/2012/9/20/MTEN_0920124910.aspx?path=mten. A full tournament preview is also available there at http://www.goboxers.com/news/2012/9/20/MTEN_0920123451.aspx.