May 5, 2004
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Tulane University earned its eighth straight bid to the NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament, the NCAA announced on Wednesday via a live telecast on ESPNews. The Green Wave will travel to Cambridge, Mass., and will play Notre Dame in the first round on May 14 or 15.
Tulane (18-4), the Conference USA Champion, is ranked No. 19 in the country. Notre Dame is the Big East Champion and holds the No. 30 ranking in the nation.
Harvard, the 21st ranked team in the nation, earned the 16th seed in the tournament and will host Tulane, Notre Dame and Quinnipiac in its Regional. The Crimson are the Ivy League Champions, while Quinnipiac won the Northeast Conference to earn an automatic bid to the tournament.
"We would have liked to have hosted [the Regional]," Tulane coach Robert Klein said. "But that did not happen, so we just need to go out and do what we can on the court against the Big East champs. Let's go play."
The winners of each of the 16 NCAA Regionals advance to the University of Tulsa for the final four rounds of the tournament.
Tulane is led by senior Michael Kogan (Kfar-Saba, Israel), who is currently ranked No. 11 in the nation with a 16-4 record this spring. Junior Dmitriy Koch (Bueckeburg, Germany) has a 13-3 record this season and is ranked No. 46 in the country. In doubles play, Kogan and freshman David Goulet (Longueuil, Quebec) have teamed up to record a 16-1 record and a No. 12 national rating.
Kogan is a two-time All-American in singles and doubles and won his unprecedented fourth Conference USA Player of the Year Award this spring. He was joined on the All-Conference USA First Team by Koch. Goulet, meanwhile, was honored as the league's Freshman of the Year and also earned all-league third team recognition. Sophomore Jacobo Hernandez (Mexico City, Mexico) was also a third-team selection after posting an impressive 15-4 singles mark this year.
Last year, the Green Wave hosted first and second round matches for the first time in school history, defeating Southern and South Alabama and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.
"I am disappointed for our fans," Klein said. "They have supported us so well all year and we were hoping to reward them with a couple more matches at Goldring Stadium."
While last year was Tulane's deepest run in the tournament in its current format, the Green Wave was a national powerhouse from 1930 to the mid-sixties. The Wave won the NCAA Team Championship in 1959 and had a pair of second-place finishes (1949 and 1957). Tulane also had eight singles champions and two doubles champions in that time. From 1939 to 1964, the Green Wave won 18 SEC Championships.
Since taking over the reins of the Green Wave program, Klein has returned the program to national prominence. In addition to the eight straight NCAA Tournament bids, Klein has guided the team to four Conference USA titles while winning four league Coach of the Year honors. With Tulane's upset of top-seeded TCU in the conference championship, Klein earned his 200th career win. He enters the NCAAs with an all-time mark of 200-126 (.613) in 14 years. In his 11 years at Tulane, Klein has notched a 175-91 (.658) mark.
This year's effort by Klein may have been his most impressive as he molded four newcomers into a lineup hit heavily by graduation. After losing three of its first seven matches and dropping to No. 45 in the rankings, the Green Wave regrouped. The Wave has won 14 of its last 15 matches with its lone loss coming at the hands of No. 12 VCU.
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