FMU tennis teams play Saints in NCAA Tournament on Friday

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University:

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University men's and women's tennis teams will both play Flagler College on Friday in the Southeast Regional semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Division II Tournament.

Both matches will be played at Bacon Park in Savannah, Ga., with Armstrong Atlantic State University serving as the host.

This is the fifth consecutive trip to the NCAAs for the FMU women, and the 10th in the past 16 years.  The Patriot men earn an invitation for the third year in a row and the 14th time in the past 16 seasons.

The 13th-ranked FMU women (16-5) will play the 22nd-ranked Flagler women (14-7) on Friday at 2 p.m.    Top-ranked AASU (27-0) will face 40th-ranked Queen University of Charlotte (20-1) in the other semifinal.

The 13th-ranked FMU (11-7) will meet the 15th-ranked Flagler men (14-8) at 10 a.m. on Friday, while the second-ranked AASU men (27-1) will face 24th-ranked Less-McRae College (16-5) in the other semifinal.

Friday's two women's winners will meet in the regional title contest on Saturday at 2 p.m.  The two surviving men's teams from Friday will play for their regional title at 10 a.m. on Saturday.  All regional winners will advance to the national finals, May 12-15, in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Both Francis Marion squads swept two meetings with Flagler earlier this year, March 27 in Florence and three weeks ago in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.

Each of the past two years, the Patriot women have won their respective regional and advanced to the national championships.  The FMU men won a regional title in 2008, but last year lost in the regional semifinals.

The FMU women are led by senior Tereza Sykorova (16-3), who plays the No. 1 singles position.  Graduating senior Dilshod Sharifi (14-1) occupies the No.1 singles spot for the Patriot men.

Long-time FMU head coach Garth Thomson has directed the Patriot men to a 263-125 record and the women to a 233-154 mark in 18 seasons.