This weekend the Hokies will open the NCAA Championship to Michigan. Virginia Tech Men’s tennis team will travel to Lexington, Ky. to open up the Championship.
The Lexington, Ky. Regional teams are Kentucky (1), Michigan (2), Virginia Tech (3), and Western Michigan (4).
Virginia Tech enters the NCAA Championship ranked 41st in the ITA standings. It marks the highest ranking for the Hokies this season. With this year’s at-large bid, the Hokies will make their seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, according to HokieSports.
The Hokies will play Michigan at noon and Kentucky will play Western Michigan after 3:00 p.m. at UK’s Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center. The winner of the opening round will advance to play Saturday, at 2 p.m.
The Hokies split even on Saturday’s doubleheader against the Terps. After the weather altered the game on Friday the Hokies played two.
The team dropped the first game of the ACC series at Maryland, 10-9. The Terps took the lead leaving the Hokies scoreless till the third. The Hokies later took the lead in the sixth inning with a score of 7-5.
The Terps tied the game in the seventh when Papio hit a two-run homerun to tie the game at 8-8.
Horan later brought in Sean Keselica with bases-loaded to but the Hokies up but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Maryland won the game in the ninth on a two-RBI single by Papio to beat the Hokies.
After losing the first game the Hokies started fresh with Joe Mantiply on the mound.
Mantiply allowed just three hits and one walk. He struck out six batters and worked a season high of seven scoreless frames.
Mantiply won his 17th career game at Tech, just two shy of the most ever by a Hokie pitcher as a member of the ACC.
The offense started strong in the first. Andrew Rash drove in the first run of game with bases-loaded. He later drove in his second run of the game with a double scoring Chad Pinder. Mark Zagunis later followed up with a three-run home run to put the Hokies up 7-0. Brendon Hayden also hit a solo homerun to put Tech up 8-0.
Keslica made it 11-0 in the seventh with a single that brought home Alex Perez.
Sean Kennedy, who came in for Mantiply, faced a no out bases loaded jam but got out of it without allowing a run.
Virginia Tech defeated the Terps 11-0 in the second game.
Tech has now improved to 23-17 and 8-12 in the ACC.
The Hokies will play on Sunday to determine the winner of the ACC series at 1 p.m.