PBC Tennis Tournaments open Thursday in Florence

PBC Tennis Tournaments open Thursday in Florence
FLORENCE, SC (April 15, 2014) – The nationally ranked Francis Marion University men's and women's tennis teams will open play in the 2014 Peach Belt Conference Tournament on Thursday morning (April 17) at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center.

Admission to the three-day event is free.

The four women's quarterfinal matches will be played on Thursday at 9 a.m., followed by the four men's quarterfinal matches at noon.  Two women's elimination bracket matches will be played at 3 p.m., followed by two men's elimination bracket matches at 6 p.m.

The women's semifinal matches and the fifth-place match will start at 8 a.m. on Friday morning (April 18), followed at noon by the men's semifinal matches and the fifth-place match.

The women's championship match and third-place match are set for Saturday morning (April 19) at 8 a.m., with the men's championship and third-place matches at noon.

The 41st-ranked and fourth-seeded FMU women are 13-5 and will face 26th-ranked and fifth-seeded Georgia College (16-6) on Thursday at 8 a.m.  The Patriots defeated the Bobcats 5-3 on April 6 on the Kassab Courts. FMU has won the past 11 meetings between the two.

Francis Marion's probable line-up for the tournament opener will be a singles order of No.1 freshman Samantha Koelliker (16-2), No.2 junior Julia Graf (14-4), No.3 sophomore Nora Westbye (14-4), No.4 senior Kimberley Hurter (12-6), No.5 freshman Veronica Viegas (3-14), and No.6 senior Caitlin Siney (3-6).  The doubles line-up will consist of 16th-ranked Westbye/Graf (14-4) at No.1, Hurter/Koelliker (9-2) at No.2, and Siney/Viegas (0-5) at No.3.

Hurter owns 55 career singles wins, while Graf has a 50-8 all-time singles record. Both have registered 53 career doubles victories.

Koelliker is having a solid freshman campaign for the Patriots. She is 9-1 in her last 10 singles matches, with the only loss coming to the third-ranked player in NCAA Division II. The duo of Graf and Westbye enter the tournament ranked in the latest Division II polls and have won eight of their last 10 doubles matches.  

 The 29th-ranked and seventh-seeded Francis Marion men finished the regular season with a 7-7 record and will meet seventh-ranked and second-seeded Lander University (15-3) in a quarterfinal match on Thursday at 11 a.m.  The Bearcats defeated the Patriots 8-1 in Greenwood, S.C., back on March 1.

FMU's probable singles line-up will include junior Gavin Davison (6-8) at No.1, 27th-ranked freshman Richard Ashforth (12-1) at No.2, junior Marius Wahlier (8-6) at No.3, freshman Jannik Roettlingsberger (6-4) at No.4, senior Tim Ruepke (2-9) at No.5, and junior Luke Bateup (1-2) at No. 6.  The doubles roster will consist of Ashforth and Davison (9-5) at No.1, Wahlier and Ruepke (9-5) at No.2, and Roettlingsberger and junior Eimon Heywood (1-4) at No. 3.

Ashforth has made an immediate impact in the Francis Marion lineup and comes into the tournament ranked nationally. He began the season with a perfect 11-0 singles mark before suffering his first collegiate lost last weekend to the 25th-ranked player in Division II.  

Armstrong Atlantic State University owns the top seed in women's tournament, while Columbus State University earned the number-one seed on the men's side.  The third-ranked Pirate women (21-1) are the two-time defending NCAA Division II national champions and have won five of the last six national championships and the last 10 PBC championships.  The Columbus State men (16-5) enter the tournament ranked 14th-nationally, while third-seeded Armstrong has captured three of the past six Division II titles and has won the last nine PBC titles.

Altogether, the Peach Belt Conference has produced 11 men's NCAA Division II national champions and eight women's national champions since the conference was organized in 1992.


  2014 Peach Belt Conference Men's and Women's Tennis Tournaments

Thursday, April 17

8:00 am - Match 1                Women's Quarterfinal         #1 Armstrong vs. #8 USC Aiken             

8:00 am - Match 2                Women's Quarterfinal         #4 FMU vs. #5 Georgia College   

8:00 am - Match 3                Women's Quarterfinal         #3 Flagler vs. #6 Lander    

8:00 am - Match 4                Women's Quarterfinal         #2 Columbus State vs. #7 Montevallo    

11:00 am - Match 5              Men's Quarterfinal              #1 Columbus State vs. #8 North Georgia

11:00 am - Match 6              Men's Quarterfinal              #4 GRU Augusta vs. #5 Georgia College

11:00 am - Match 7              Men's Quarterfinal              #3 Armstrong vs. #6 Flagler

11:00 am - Match 8              Men's Quarterfinal              #2 Lander vs. #7 FMU

2:00 pm - Match 13              W. Elimination Bracket       1/8 Loser vs. 4/5 Loser                  

2:00 pm - Match 14              W. Elimination Bracket       3/6 Loser vs. 2/7 Loser      

5:00 pm - Match 15              M. Elimination Bracket        1/8 Loser vs. 4/5 Loser      

5:00 pm - Match 16              M. Elimination Bracket        3/6 Loser vs. 2/7 Loser

Friday, April 18

8:00 am - Match 9                Women's Semifinal             1/8 Winner vs. 4/5 Winner

8:00 am - Match 10              Women's Semifinal             3/6 Winner vs. 2/7 Winner

8:00 am - Match 17              Women's 5th-Place             Match 13 vs. Match 14 Winner

12:00 pm - Match 11            Men's Semifinal                   1/8 Winner vs. 4/5 Winner

12:00 pm - Match 12            Men's Semifinal                   3/6 Winner vs. 2/7 Winner

12:00 pm - Match 18            Men's 5th-Place                   Match 15 vs. Match 16 Winner 

Saturday, April 19

8:00 am - Match 19              Women's Championship     Match 9 winner vs. Match 10 Winner

8:00 am - Match 21              Women's 3rd-Place            Match 9 Loser vs. Match 10 Loser

12:00 pm - Match 20            Men's Championship          Match 11 winner vs. Match 12 Winner

12:00 pm - Match 22            Men's 3rd-Place                 Match 11 Loser vs. Match 12 Loser