The Baruch College Men’s tennis team hit the road this morning, as it heads to its second straight year playing in the NCAA tournament at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. The Bearcats clinched their spot after beating Hunter College last Saturday at the U.S. National Tennis Center in Queens, acing their seventh title as the CUNYAC champions. To win this title, the Bearcats beat eight other teams within the CUNY athletic system.
First up for the fifth-seeded Bearcats is a Friday match against Salve Regina University of Rhode Island. If Baruch wins, the team advances to round two, where they will once again face off against last year’s spoilers, Emory University of Georgia. The Bearcats lost to them, 5-0, in the second round last year.
But head coach Florin Giuglescu isn’t worried about a potential match-up against Emory. He said he is looking forward to the tournament: “I’m excited. Every coach wants its team to win. When you go outside and play at the national level, what could be better than that?” To get his 15-member team ready, Giuglescu is putting the players through daily four-hour practice sessions at Baruch’s indoor Auxiliary gymnasium in the Vertical Campus Building.
Giuglescu knows a lot about winning. He’s been the men’s tennis coach for 12 years, and under his leadership, the team has garnered seven championships since the start of the Millennium. One of his prized team members is the number one singles player, 22-year-old Jed Wilder, a native New Yorker who transferred to Baruch last fall from the University of Arizona. Nicknamed “The Wild Thing,” Wilder is a junior who is still undecided about his major. He’s had an impressive first year with the team:. His 29-3 record earned him the title of the 2008 CUNYAC Player of the Year. Giuglescu also captured the 2008 CUNYAC Tennis Coach of the Year award.
If the Bearcats serve up a victory this weekend, they’ll head back to Maine again next weekend to compete in the NCAA finals. “We have such a young team, and we’re very excited about tennis,” said John Neves, Baruch’s Director of Sports Information.
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