|Idaho duo gets first round bye|
FLUSHING, N.Y. – The event hasn’t yet begun, but Idaho men’s tennis players Jose Bendeck and Cristobal Ramos Salazar have already made it deeper into the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships than the Vandal duos that reached the tournament in each of the last two years.
Bendeck and Ramos Salazar earned a first-round bye in the 20-team draw, and will face the winner of Mississippi’s William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark against Florida State’s Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez in the round of 16. Idaho’s pairings the past two seasons have both failed to reach the round of 16.
“Our guys earned a great opportunity by winning the regional and have a chance to show what they can do against the best teams in the country,” Idaho coach Jeff Beaman said. “The key for them is focusing on playing and not the things they do not control like the environment, the name of the school on their opponents shirt or the crowd. If they can carry the level they played in the semi and finals of regionals we will see good things.”
Pairings from Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Liberty, Memphis, Florida, Illinois, California, Drake, Ohio State, Cornell, Texas A&M, UNC Wilmington, Embry-Riddle, UCLA, USC and Texas round out the draw. Idaho is in the event for the third consecutive year, and only California, Ole Miss, Texas and host Columbia have longer active streaks of reaching the National Indoor Intercollegiate Tournament. Idaho’s Bendeck and Ramos Salazar qualified for the national event by winning the doubles draw at the ITA Mountain Regional Championships last month.
The tournament beings Nov. 7 at the UTSA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the site of the US Open, in Flushing, N.Y., and concludes Nov. 10.