LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The U of L men's tennis Cardinals are back in a familiar spot.For the eleventh time overall and the sixth time in seven years, Rex Ecarma's group is in the NCAA tournament.
Louisville is the 32nd ranked team in the country entering post-season play and they have a meeting with the 33rd ranked team in Drake. That will be Friday in Champaign, Illinois.U of L is the second seed in the Illinois region.The host 4th-ranked and top-seeded Illini take on Green Bay in the other region semi-final with the winners meeting Saturday. The winner of that match advances to the NCAA sweet sixteen in Waco, Texas.
U of L head coach Rex Ecarma is in his 25th season in charge.He got his 400th match win in March, when the Cardinals knocked off then 10th-ranked North Carolina. He said his team will be familiar with the Bulldogs, after meeting them to open the season in January.
“They beat us and I think my players were a little deceived,” said Ecarma. “I told them just because we're playing a doubleheader today doesn't mean both are easy wins.I said we're playing a really good team and maybe a team that's kind of a mid-major but if we don't play our game, we could lose and they didn't realize I was right until after we lost.”
The Cardinals are led by Senior Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, who is ranked 5th in the country after amassing a 40-5 record as Louisville's number one singles player.