Dates, Format & Sites: The final rounds of the 57th NAIA Men's Tennis Championships will take place at the Mobile Tennis Center in Alabama May 12-16. Twenty-four schools qualify for Mobile through advancement in regional tournaments played the last week of April and first week of May.
Top Seed:Auburn-Montgomery finished the regular season with a 22-1 record and will try for its third consecutive NAIA title and eighth overall. Its lone loss the season came to Division II Armstrong Atlantic State.
History/Trends: Auburn-Montgomery has won the last two championships and four of the last six. The University of Redlands, now an NCAA Division III school, has won the most titles with 11. AUM's sevent titles are second most. AUM has beat Azusa Pacific in each of the last two finals. Azusa Pacific will be looking to advance to the final for the sixth straight year.
2008 In Review: AUM spent the entire season at No. 1 in the NAIA team ratings...Team has been led by senior All-American Daniel Plesa...AUM coach Anuk Christianz notched his 100th career victory in just his fifth season at the helm there... Fresno Pacific turned in an unbeaten regular season and snapped Azusa Pacific's SCAC win streak of 58 straight matches back on April 4...Embry-Riddle turned in a 16-2 season and won the Florida Sun Conference regular season title for the sixth year in a row, and also clinched the program's fifth consecutive NAIA Region XIV title in April. The Eagles' No. 2 seed for the NAIA Championships is the highest seed in program history...Embry-Riddle senior Mislav Hizak captured a record third straight NAIA men's singles title in October at the ITA National Small College Championships and also collected a third straight overall crown in the ITA "Super Bowl" of Small College Tennis. He registered a 15-0 record at this event from 2005-07.
In the NAIA Team Ratings: No. 1 Auburn-Montgomery, No. 2 Embry-Riddle, No. 3 Fresno Pacific, No. 4 Azusa Pacific, No. 5 California Baptist, No. 6 Vanguard, No. 7 Lindsey Wilson, No. 8 Concordia, No. 9 Union and No. 10 Savannah College of Art and Design.
2008 ITA National Award Winners: This year's winners were announced May 12: Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year - Dave Paschal, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; ITA Senior Player of the Year – Mislav Hizak, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; ITA National Rookie Player – Fabio Silva, Fresno Pacific University; ITA National Player to Watch – Carlos Bes, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; and ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship- Jonathan Bowman, Point Loma Nazarene University.
In the ITA Singles & Doubles Rankings: (Singles) No. 1 Mislav Hizak, Mislav of Embry-Riddle, No. 2 Allesandro Ventre of California Baptist, No. 3 Matt Carroll of Fresno Pacific, No. 4 Florian Lemke of Vanguard, No. 5 Matias Bolsius of Azusa Pacific, No. 6 Remy Caffardo of Graceland, No. 7 Miroslav Vukicevic of Xavier, No. 8 Patrick Kur of Azusa Pacific, No. 9 Constantin Lazarov of Embry-Riddle and No. 10 Patrick Bruining of Aquinas. (Doubles) No. 1 Matt Carroll and Vincent Joli of Fresno Pacific, No. 2 Mislav Hizak and Constantin Lazarov of Embry-Riddle, No. 3 Broadback and Remy Caffardo of Graceland, No. 4 Dominic Stockler and Tino Brodar of Vanguard, and No. 5 Allesandro Ventre and Carlos Lima of California Baptist. Note: The NAIA no longer administers a postseason singles and doubles tournament. Embry Riddle's Mislav Hizak captured the ITA national singles title last October and Fresno Pacific's Matt Carroll and Vincent Joli captured the ITA doubles title.
A look back at 2007: AUM beat Azusa Pacific 5-0 to capture its second straight NAIA title.