Bates to host NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament

Bates College has been selected as the host for the 2004 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis championships, pending ratification by the NCAA Management Council at a meeting on Oct. 20th. The team tournament will begin on Wednesday, May 12th, and the individual tournament will run from Saturday May 15th through Monday, May 17th at the Wallach Tennis Center.

Bates has hosted three previous NCAA championships, most recently the 1999 NCAA Skiing championships. Bates also served as the host for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Skiing championships in 1976 and the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track championships in 1985.

“We are excited to be chosen as the host institution for the NCAA Division III men’s tennis tournament,” said Suzanne Coffey, Bates’ athletic director. “This event will bring some of the top Division III student-athletes from across the country to the Lewiston-Auburn area.”

Eight teams will be invited to compete for the team title, while the top-32 singles players and the top-16 doubles pairs will vie for the individual titles.

Bates sophomore Will Boe-Wiggard was an All-America selection last year and won his first-round match at the 2003 NCAA championship at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.

“Will got the chance to see and compete with the best NCAA Division III players in the country last year,” said Bates head tennis coach Paul Gastonguay. “Hopefully we will have similar success this year and an individual, a doubles team, or our whole team will earn a spot in the tournament and get the chance to compete for an NCAA title in front of a home crowd.”

The Wallach Tennis Center consists of eight Plexi-cushion courts, all lighted for evening play with room for over 500 spectators and an observation deck for coaches. The intimate environment gives spectators a chance to be close to the action. With all eight courts at the same site, coaches and spectators can easily track the progress of every match.

“We take great pride in our facilities,” said Coffey. “The Wallach Tennis Center will be the perfect venue for a national championship. The facility provides our men’s and women’s tennis teams with one of the best places to practice and compete in the country. This is a great chance for us to show others what a special place Bates is.”

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