MOBILE, Al. — The NAIA has released the bracket for the 63rd annual Men's Tennis National Championships.
The championships will take place from May 13-17 at the Mobile Tennis Center. It is a 24-team, single-elimination tournament.
This is the 11th appearance that the Swedes are making in the NAIA National Championships. Bethany only has one win in its previous appearances. The Swedes made the tournament after having an overall record of 19-2, going 7-0 in the KCAC and winning the KCAC Tournament Championship in Wichita.
The Swedes will start their quest for an NAIA Championship with an opening-round match against Marian University out of Indianapolis. The Knights were 15-15 overall and 5-3 in the Crossroads League. This is the first appearance for the Knights in the NAIA National Championships. The opening round match will start at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
If Bethany advances past Marian, it will be awaited by Westmont College from Santa Barbara, Calif. The Warriors are ranked seventh in the NAIA in the final NAIA Men's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 Poll of the year. Westmont enters the NAIA Championship Tournament with an overall record of 14-6 and a GSAC (Golden State Athletic Conference) record of 8-2. The second round match would take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
"The men drew Marian University in the first round, who have a very solid team and one of the top players in the NAIA playing No. 1 singles for them," Bethany coach Vic Bateman said. "Jason Denton is coming off wins over the No. 22 and No. 41 singles players in the country. Marian has a great schedule and play against many nationally ranked teams each year. I expect to have a great battle against them and look forward to the opportunity to play them for the first time."
If the Swedes would make it to the quarterfinals, they would play at 1 p.m. Thursday. The semifinals will take place at 1 p.m. Friday, with the finals the following day at 1 p.m.
This year Bethany has significant wins over (11) Concordia University-Irvine 5-4 and (RV) Missouri Valley College, 8-1. The Swedes also have wins over nonconference competition including Doane College (9-0), Baker University (9-0), Concordia University-Seward (9-0), University of the Southwest (7-2), and Hastings College (7-2).
Bethany has wins against several junior colleges as well: Barton County Community College (9-0), Seminole State College (7-2), Jacksonville College (9-0), Collin County Community College (7-2), Cowley College (7-2) and Irvine Valley College (8-1).