NCAA Mens Tennis

NC State will remain true to themselves in NCAA tournament

NC State will remain true to themselves in NCAA tournament


RALEIGH The NC State men’s tennis team will be on the big stage this weekend, but head coach Kyle Spencer doesn’t want anyone to get out of character.
 
When the Pack (15-9) takes on Oklahoma this weekend in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, there will be more eyes than usual.
 
NC State plays the Sooners at the University of Georgia at 10 am on Saturday. It’s the postseason, which means every opponent is good and any small mistake could be the difference between advancing and going home.

 
But Spencer doesn’t want his team to tense up. Like he told them after practice earlier this week, the work has already been done.
 
“I think it’s the most important thing,” Spencer said. “Everyone is looking for high level performances and if you’re not being yourself I don’t know what you can draw on.”
 
NC State won’t lack experience when they show up in Athens. All of the starters have been in the postseason before. The Pack has spent the entire season in the Top 25 and the program is in the NCAA tournament for the fifth time under Spencer. 
 
At this point in their careers, all of the players know how to prepare themselves. Last year, with this core group, NC State made it to the Sweet 16. With that kind of resume, the message of staying true to yourself is a bit easier to preach.
 
“They know what it’s like,” Spencer said. “We play an uber competitive conference schedule, so this week going on the road won’t feel out of the norm. I think from that standpoint they are super ready for the challenges ahead.”
 
Last time out: The Pack fell to Wake Forest in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament, 4-2. The Demon Deacons took the doubles point, then jumped out to a 3-0 lead in singles action. Fons Van Sambeek and Joe Wayand each picked up a win on the singles court.
 
Pack in the Rankings:  NC State comes in at No. 25 in the latest ITA Rankings. The doubles duo of Robin Catry and Luca Staeheli were ranked No. 11, while Joe Wayand and Rafa Izquierdo Luque were ranked No. 14. On the singles side Izquierdo Luque is ranked No. 57 and Staeheli came in at No. 89.
 
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