AUGUSTA, Ga. - With the enthralling nature of its round of 32 win over Columbus State faded away, the Augusta State men's tennis team is ready to set the new standard even higher.
The Jaguars' opponent: Drury University, the No. 2-regionally ranked squad from the Midwest region. The Panthers (18-3) are making their 14thconsecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearance after winning their fifth Great Lakes Valley Conference conference title, and are riding an 11-match winning streak. They dismantled No. 46 Ferris State 5-0 in the round of 32, sweeping the doubles matches and taking the No. 2 and No. 4 singles matches in straight-set victories.
Drury is led by Andy Blair, the No. 33 singles player in the nation and a staple at the No. 2 doubles slot. He dropped three matches all season and has been DU's most consistent competitor.
He'll likely face off with ASU's Bernardo Fernandes, who has moved up to No. 25 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.
Fernandes and Henrique Boturao, the No. 13 doubles team in the country, likely will face off with Roman Gonda and Lukas Kriem at the No. 1 doubles slot. ASU's duo has faced a stacked schedule all season long, and brought their A-game in an 8-5 takedown in the round of 32.
Gonda and Kriem dropped to the No. 2 doubles slot for a time this season, but played the final nine matches in the top slot, going 7-2, including 8-4 and 8-1 victories over regionally-ranked opponents their last two times out.
ASU (17-9) set a school record for victories in a season, and has faced one of the more brutal schedules in the nation that included three matches against top-five squads: Armstrong Atlantic, Barry, and Lynn.
The winner advances to take on the winner of Concordia (NY) and Grand Canyon with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
Fans can stay up-to-date on the latest scores at http://www.ncaa.com/news/ncaa/article/2012-04-19/spring-championship-multimedia