INDIANAPOLIS – The University of the District of Columbia men's tennis team earned a bid to compete in the NCAA Division II Tournament as a No. 6 seed in the East Regional Tournament.
The Firebirds (6-7), who have played two NCAA Division I teams and four different regionally-ranked opponents this season, will square off for the 3rd time this season against East Coast Conference foe and No. 3 seed, New York Institute of Technology. The match will be played at East Region 2 Tournament host and No. 2 seed, Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA. Dates and times for the opening matches will be announced later this week.
UDC would then have to get by the winner of the No. 2 Chestnut Hill vs. No. 7 Merrimack College Round 1 matchup for a chance to advance to the Round of 16 in Altamonte Springs, FL.
The Firebirds feature First Team All-ECC junior Rok Bozic at No. 1 singles and paired with junior No. 2 singles player Diego Pinto at No. 1 doubles, as well as Second Team All-ECC junior Alexis Baguelin, who plays No. 3 singles and teams with junior Ander Murillo at No. 2 doubles. Junior Marco Feligioni (No. 5 singles) and freshman Josip Marinic (No. 6 singles) round out the starting singles lineup and team up at No. 3 doubles.
Under Head Coach Dickie Mahaffey, the Firebirds have now earned NCAA Tournament bids in four of the last six seasons. This marks the 3rd time in six years that UDC and NYIT meet in the NCAA First Round, as the two ECC powers also met in the East Regional in 2012 and 2015. In 2012, the No. 3 seeded Firebirds defeated the Bears, 5-1, but in 2015, No. 2 NYIT defeated No. 7 UDC, 5-0.
NYIT defeated UDC twice this season – first, in a regular season match on April 14th at UDC Tennis Courts, 6-3, and then in the ECC Semifinals at a neutral site, 5-1.