By Nikki Sherrill, Athletic Communications and Media Intern
MOBILE, Ala. – (Bracket) (Video Recap) (Schedule & Results) The 2017 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship play kicked-off this morning with eight matches taking place in Mobile, Ala. The event is being held for the fourth-straight year at the Mobile Tennis Center. Eight programs earned first round victories and will take on the top eight seeds who received a first-match bye tomorrow starting at 9 a.m. CDT.
Each match showed competition from both sides of the net as no contest ended in sweeps. No. 9 William Woods (Mo.) and No. 12 Westmont (Calif.) earned 8-1 victories over their opponents. William Woods is making its first-ever appearance in the national championship while Westmont now improves to 9-8 all-time in its ninth appearance.
No. 17 Middle Georgia State, who is also only in its first trip to the event, picked up a win 6-3 win over No. 16 Tennessee Wesleyan in the first round. No. 21 Lawrence Tech (Mich.), the only other first-time program who competed, suffered an 8-1 loss to Westmont. No. 8 Arizona Christian is in its first time at the event and received a bye. Tomorrow, William Woods will take on Arizona Christian in a match-up to see which program will advance further into the bracket in their first appearances.
On the day, the higher seeds went 5-3 over their opponents. No. 18 SCAD Savannah (Ga.), No. 20 Asbury (Ky.) and No. 17 Middle Georgia State were the lower seeds to excel into play tomorrow morning.
The two closest tilts of the morning saw No. 18 SCAD Savannah earning a 5-4 close victory over No. 15 Reinhardt (Ga.), while No. 14 San Diego Christian (Calif.) captured the 5-4 win against No. 19 McPherson (Kan.). The Hawks now improve to 2-1 overall in just their second appearance to the national championship.
The top eight seeds, which received first round byes in the national championship, will compete against Tuesday's winner in second round play, beginning at 9 a.m. CDT Wednesday.
Second round action will start Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. CDT with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals.
For more information on the 2017 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship, click here.