May 1, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's tennis team will face Florida in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Gators, seeded 12th in the field of 64 teams, will play host to the Midshipmen at Noon on Saturday, May 12, in Gainesville, Fla.
Navy also faced Florida in Gainesville in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
"We are excited to be in the NCAA Tournament and going to Florida," said Navy head coach John Officer. "We played very well in winning the Patriot League Tournament this weekend, and we are going to have to do so again next week against Florida."
The winner of the Navy-Florida match will advance on to the second round of the championship where it will face the winner of the Harvard-Virginia Teach match. The second-round pairing will take place on May 13 at 2 p.m.
Navy will be making the program's fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last six seasons, as well as its sixth under the current format that was established in 1999. In addition to its previously mentioned 2008 trip to Florida, the Mids have also made NCAA Tournament trips to Mississippi (1999), Texas (2007) and Virginia (2009, `10).
Navy advanced to this year's NCAA Tournament thanks to its winning the Patriot League Tournament. The Mids posted a 5-0 record against league foes this spring to garner the top seed in the event. Navy then tallied a 4-1 win over No. 4 Bucknell in the semifinal round before defeating No. 3 Army by an identical score in the tournament final. The two wins raised Navy's overall record on the season to 18-8.
Florida has compiled a 14-9 record this spring, which includes a mark of 7-4 during the Southeastern Conference's regular season. This year's effort by the Gators comes one year after the program advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
The Gators posted a 5-0 win over the Mids when the two programs squared off in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, but Navy very nearly won the doubles point from Florida that day. After the Gators won the No. 2 doubles match, the Mids picked up the victory at No. 1 doubles to even the proceedings. Florida would secure the doubles point when its No. 3 team won an 8-6 decision over Navy's entry. The Gators would go on to win four singles matches in straight sets.
"Florida has a long tradition of being one of the top teams in the country," said Officer. "We played well when we faced them five years ago. We are excited to be in the tournament and look to represent the Naval Academy with a lot of enthusiasm and pride."