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Early Bird

UTSA to face UAB in opening round of Conference USA Tournament

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics
Release: 04/17/2014
Courtesy UTSA Athletics
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SAN ANTONIO — The 10th-seeded UTSA men's tennis team will play No. 7 seed UAB at 10 a.m. on Thursday in the opening round of the Conference USA Tournament, which will be contested four four days this week at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.

The Roadrunners (9-16) will be appearing in their first-ever C-USA postseason event and they will face the Blazers (12-8) for the second time this season.

UAB edged UTSA, 4-3, on Feb. 16 in Birmingham, Ala. Both teams are coming off a loss at the hands of No. 75 South Alabama, as the Roadrunners dropped a 4-2 decision in their last outing on Saturday, while the Blazers suffered a 4-3 setback one day later in Mobile, Ala.

The winner will advance to face second-seeded and 67th-ranked Tulane (13-8) in the quarterfinal round at 10 a.m. on Friday in the 11-team single-elimination tournament. The semifinal round will be held at noon on Saturday and the championship match is slated for 11 a.m. on Sunday, with the winner earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.

Tomas Stillman leads UTSA with a 21-2 record in singles play, including a 13-1 mark at No. 2. The junior from Harlingen has won eight straight and 20 of his last 21 finished contests. He swept Mitchell Martell in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, in the previous meeting with UAB.

Stillman also has teamed with Joel Rubio to form the No. 79-ranked doubles duo in the nation.  They have registered a 15-6 record this year, including a perfect 7-0 ledger at No. 2.

UTSA has captured three conference tournament titles in its history, with the last coming in its final year as a member of the Southland Conference in 2012. Last year in their first and only season in the Western Athletic Conference, the Roadrunners beat UT Arlington, 4-1, in the quarterfinal round in Denver, Colo., before being eliminated in the semifinals by Idaho, 4-2.

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