May 3, 2001
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Tulane University men's tennis teams will open the NCAA Championship with a first round match against Baylor University at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth next Saturday, May 12.
The Green Wave will battle the No. 30 ranked Baylor Bears. Host TCU, ranked No. 4 in the nation plays Texas-Arlington in the other first-round match at that site. The winners will play on Sunday for the right to advance to the Final 16 to be held at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. The Green Wave lost to both Baylor and Texas Christian by 4-3 scores earlier this season.
The Green Wave men are ranked No. 39 in the nation and own a 15-8 record and an eight-match winning streak entering the tournament. It is the Wave's fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, all under coach Robert Klein, this year's Conference USA Coach of the Year.
Tulane earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tourney by winning the C-USA Championship last weekend. The Wave topped three nationally-ranked foes, including top seed South Florida in the title match.
Freshman Michael Kogan (Kfar-Saba, Israel), ranked No. 34 in the nation, leads the Green Wave. He was named the Conference USA Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, the first player in league history to earn both honors during the same year. Kogan is 29-4 this year in singles play, while in doubles play, he has paired with senior Mikko Viljanen (Vantaa, Finland) to climb to No. 12 in the nation. They have a 25-4 record this year. Sophomore Victor Romero (Atizapan, Mexico) joined Kogan and Viljanen on the All-Conference USA teams. Ranked No. 94 in the nation, Romero has a 17-3 record in singles play and a 14-5 mark in doubles with classmate Jorge Lievano (Bucaramanga, Colombia).
Kogan also earned a bid to the individual singles tournament, while he and Viljanen will compete in the doubles tourney as well.
In the last four years, Tulane has posted a 1-4 mark in NCAA Tournament play, with the victory coming against Louisiana-Lafayette in 1999. The Green Wave won the NCAA Championship in 1959, while also taking second place honors in 1949 and 1957.
Tulane NCAA Appearances Under Robert Klein
2000: Lost to Louisiana-Lafayette, 4-3 (College Station, Texas)
1999: Defeated Louisiana-Lafayette, 4-3 (Baton Rouge, La.)
Lost to LSU, 4-0 (Baton Rouge, La.)
1998: Lost to Florida, 4-0 (Lexington, Ky.)
1997: Lost to UAB, 4-3 (Gainesville, Fla.)