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Valdosta Nets First NCAA Division II Men's Title, Southern Neighbors Hope to Follow

May 16, 2006 11:10 AM

After three singles matches against fifth-ranked Lynn, the Valdosta State Blazers took home their first NCAA Division II Men’s Tennis Team Championship on Saturday at the Plaza Tennis Center in Kansas City. The Blazers clinched the team title with a win in the No. 2 singles match between Mickael Andreo and Julien Carsuzaa (4-6, 6-4, 7-5).

Valdosta boasted a successful season with a record of 26-1 and went into the finals focused and driven to capture the team title. In 2004, the team came closest to the title, placing second. Winning the title this year, for head coach John Hansen, was an ‘unbelievable feeling’. “We’ve been close so many times,” said Hansen, who has been coaching for over 30 years.

Singles wins also came from Leos Jelinek in No. 4 (6-7, 6-0, 6-1) over Jan Macko and Dominik Hansen in No. 6 (6-3, 6-3) over Raphael Koehle. The Blazers won two of three doubles matches with Jelinek and Nino Overkemping in No. 2 defeating Dennis Riegraf and Carsuzaa by an 8-2 count. Mickael Andreo and Thomas Provost won 8-2 over Regnier Azevedo and Koehle.

A number of college teams in the southern section are hoping to reach the same fate as the championship Valdosta team. The University of Georgia, the University of Mississippi and the University of North Carolina have reached the quarterfinals of the Division I Men’s Tennis Team Championship, which is being held at Stanford University’s Taube Tennis Center this week. Four women’s teams are also in Stanford, CA vying for the Division I Women’s Tennis Team Championship. Georgia Tech, the University of Kentucky, the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt University will make appearances in the quarterfinals on May 18. Both of Emory University’s men and women’s teams have reached the Division III Tennis Team Championship quarterfinals.

NAIA men’s teams Auburn Montgomery, Berry, Freed-Hardeman, Lindsey Wilson and Shorter will compete May 17 in Mobile, AL for the NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship. The Berry College men’s team has already received the Buffalo Funds Five Star Award for their dedication and implementation of the five core character values on and off the court. NAIA women’s teams who appeared in the first and second rounds respectively of the women’s championship include top seeded Auburn Montgomery, Berry, Brenau, Freed-Hardeman, Lindsey Wilson, Mobile, Savannah Art and Design and Shorter.




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