DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake men's tennis team has been selected to participate in the 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kick-Off Weekend (Jan. 25-28, 2013). The Bulldogs will travel to Malibu, Calif., as the event's third seed to battle second-seeded Florida State at the Ralphs Strauss Tennis Center on the campus of Pepperdine University.
The match will be the first of the dual campaign for Drake, who finished the 2012 campaign ranked 47th nationally, while Florida State was rated 32nd. In the other half of the draw, No. 6 Pepperdine will face No. 57 Denver.
By virtue of their top-64 finish in the final ITA rankings, the Bulldogs earned an automatic bid to the event. The ITA held a national draft on Tuesday (June 5) with teams getting to choose one of 15 four-team locations. The ITA called out to each school, in rank order, at predetermined times. Highest ranked team not a host/on the board selected which of the 15 sites they wanted to go to. When called they chose where they wanted to play, then the next highest team was called and selected, and so on.
First-round winners and losers face each other in the second round. The 15 teams that win both matches advance to ITA National Team Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Washington, played two weeks later, Feb. 15-18, 2013.
"The kick-off event is a going to be a great way to start off our 2013 spring campaign competing against some of the top teams in the country," Drake head coach Evan Austin commented. "Since it's based solely on the final rankings, it's the toughest tournament of the year to qualify for. We have high expectations for 2012-2013 and will be looking forward to some great opportunities to play nationally ranked opponents in Malibu."