Trojans fall to Auburn in NCAAs

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 17, 2010

The Troy University men’s tennis program accomplished many firsts during the 2010 season.

The Trojans claimed its first ever conference championship and in doing so, received its first ever NCAA Tournament bid.

Along with those marks, the team also set a record for most victories in a season with 20.

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However, the team was unable to cross another first off its list, thanks to its first round loss at the hands of Auburn, 4-0, this past weekend in the NCAA Tournament in Gainesville, Fla.

“I’m disappointed with the outcome,” head coach Eric Hayes said Monday afternoon.

“We didn’t play nearly as well as I was hoping we would – we didn’t play very loose.

“Auburn played very well,” he said. “This was a process we had to go through as a program.”

The Tigers, who were ranked No. 31 heading into the tournament, swept the Trojans, who entered with the No. 55 ranking, early on in doubles matches.

That would be a familiar sight for the remainder of the afternoon for Troy, as Auburn would hold the Trojans in check, winning every match.

“I do think the break in between matches effected us a little bit,” Hayes said.

“They guys has been playing only against one another and it was such a long break that I think it got to us.”

The Trojans last match was on April 25.

“In the end, Auburn handled it much better than we did,” the coach added.

Even though the Trojans’ season came to an end sooner that the team would have liked, Hayes said the experience his players gained in the tournament was very important.

“It was great experience for us,” the coach said of being in the tournament.

“To know that we were one of 64 teams still playing was a great feeling.

“Overall, I thought we had a great season,” Hayes said.

The five loses Troy suffered this season all came to team that had advanced to the tournament, Aurbun, Ole Miss, Winthrop and Denver.

The Trojans lost to Auburn twice.

The experienced gained from this season is something most of the team is going to be able to recall upon next season, as Guilherme Sahadi was the only senior on the 2010 roster.

“We have everyone coming back, with the exception of two,” Hayes said.

“We played a with a lot of confidence this season, and that is something that I think will carry over into next year.

“This season set the standard for what is to be expected from our team – anything else will be a disappointment,” he said.