TULSA, Okla. - The LSU men's tennis team will compete for the first time in the 2012-13 season when the Tigers play at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championships beginning Saturday at Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
The first national tournament of the season, the All-American Championships open play with the singles pre-qualifying rounds that begin Saturday, and the tournament continues with qualifying singles and doubles from Oct. 1-3 and the main draw from Oct. 4-7.
The tournament also marks the beginning of head coach Jeff Brown's 16th season at the helm of the Tigers, and he is excited about his squad that features four seniors, one sophomore and six freshmen.
"I am happy to reward this particular group with the opportunity to compete at this tournament," Brown said. "The players have done everything we've asked them to do in practice and in their conditioning, and we are excited to watch them compete and see the results of their hard work in fall practice."
Five LSU players will begin competition in the pre-qualifying singles rounds Saturday. Senior Roger Anderson, senior Stefan Szacinski, redshirt freshman Joe Hill and true freshmen Harrison Kennedy and Tam Trinh will compete.
The pre-qualifying draw consists of 256 spots with several players receiving first-round byes. In fact, four of the five Tigers earned a first-round bye. Anderson is the lone Tiger to compete in the first round when he takes on New Mexico State's Marc Westgate at 9:30 a.m. CT.
Szacinski and Kennedy both know who they will face in the second round because their opponents also received first-round byes. Kennedy will square off against No. 2 seed Tamas Batyi of UNLV at 11 a.m., and Szacinski will play No. 16 seed JT Sundling of TCU at 3 p.m.
Hill will face the winner of Tyler Brown (UTSA) and Evan Hawkins (Purdue) in the second round, and Trinh will play either Daniel Alameh (Pacific) or Danilo Casanova (Hawaii) in his second round match.
Senior Olivier Borsos, sophomore Chris Simpson and freshman Boris Arias do not begin play at the tournament until the qualifying rounds get underway on Monday, and Borsos - the nation's 18th-ranked player - will not see his first singles action until the main draw starts Thursday.
Before leaving for the tournament Brown expressed his expectations for the players.
"For the freshmen I want them to compete hard and get the most out of this opportunity," he said. "Some of the veterans who are looking for possible All-America status at the end of the year, we want them to give maximum effort and see their progress after the event. With this being the first tournament, we want to see how they all handle a different type of pressure and see what we have to work on going forward."
A link to tournament draws and live stats will be available on www.LSUsports.net.
Follow LSU men's tennis on Twitter (@LSUTennis) and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/lsutennis to receive match scores throughout the All-American Championships.
ITA All-American Championships
Tulsa, Okla. - Michael D. Case Tennis Center
Harrison Kennedy (LSU) vs. (2) Tamas Batyi (UNLV), 11 a.m.
Roger Anderson (LSU) or Marc Westgate (New Mexico St.) vs. Drew Lied (Michigan State), 1 p.m.
Joe Hill (LSU) vs. Tyler Brown (UTSA) or Evan Hawkins (Purdue), 2 p.m.
Stefan Szacinski (LSU) vs. (16) JT Sundling (TCU), 3 p.m.
Tam Trinh (LSU) vs. Danilo Casanova (Hawaii) or Daniel Alameh (Pacific), 4 p.m.
Pre-qualifying singles - Sept. 29-30
Qualifying singles and doubles - Oct. 1-3
Main Draw singles and doubles - Oct. 4-7