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Thursday, May 12, 2016
by Wes Bloomquist | wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – The UT Tyler tennis programs are heading back to the NCAA Division III Tennis Championships where they will play this weekend in the Men's and Women's Tennis West Regionals at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ Biszantz Family Tennis Center.

MEN's BRACKET | WOMEN's BRACKET  | WEST REGION CENTRAL

The Patriots earned the trip to regionals after winning their respective American Southwest Conference Championships. The men’s team (17-9) is making its ninth straight regional appearance and will open against Whitman (19-8) at 4 p.m. on Friday, while the Patriot women will be making their eighth regional appearance and play Trinity (14-9) at noon on Friday. The men’s tournament also features CMS and UC Santa Cruz, while the women’s side includes Lewis & Clark, UC Santa Cruz, CMS and Pomona-Pitzer.

On the women’s side, Mary Alice Blacketer and Tori Musngi each come into the regional tournament with 13-7 singles records this season and have also teamed up to produce an 18-6 first doubles record as partners. The team is 7-3 in their last 10 matches, including sweeping through the ASC Championship. Blacketer, a senior from Lubbock is in her first season at UT Tyler, while Tori Musngi is a junior with a 57-26 first doubles record and a 45-27 singles record in her career. Her sister, Nicole Musngi, is 67-19 in singles play and 74-27 in doubles action. Nicole Musngi and Alexandra McKissick have rolled to a 19-3 second doubles record this season as a senior-freshman partnership. The duo is 8-2 in their last 10 matches, including winning each of their three ASC matches.

In third doubles, Kaitlyn Huskey and Lauren Kuhn has been dominant all season and enter this weekend with a 21-1 record in third doubles. The team has won its last nine matches, including rolling to three wins at the ASC tournament. Kuhn is 13-6 in singles play this season, while Janae Warren is 11-4 in sixth singles play in her senior season.  

While the UT Tyler teams need to win to advance in the single-elimination regional, UT Arthur Fagundes and Frankie Fischer have been selected by the NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Committee to compete in the doubles competition and Fagundes in singles at the 2016 NCAA DIII Tennis Championships. The committee selected 32 singles player and 16 doubles teams based on win-lost record along with strength of schedule. The individual championships are scheduled for May 26-28 at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. With their selections, Fagundes and Fischer have secured their trip, while the Patriots will compete this weekend for an opportunity to advance to the team championship which is scheduled for May 23-25 in Kalamazoo.

Fischer and Fagundes enter this weekend’s regional tournament with a 12-5 record in first doubles competition, including a five-match winning streak. Fagundes is a freshman from Brazil, while Fischer is a senior from Georgetown in his second season at UT Tyler. The doubles partners are coming off an 8-1 win over Texas Dallas in the American Southwest Conference Championship finals.

In singles play, Fagundes is 15-5 this season with a 2-2 record in first singles and a 13-3 second singles record. He’s won six straight matches and had two matches at the ASC Championship go unfinished with the team completing wins as he was leading his matches. Fagundes was named the ASC Championship MVP and is the ASC Newcomer of the Year. Daniel Budd enters this weekend’s regional with an 11-7 singles record this season and owns a 51-28 career record in singles. The ASC East Division MVP is 56-21 in his doubles career, including going 16-3 this season with Jose McIntyre in doubles play. The McIntyre/Budd partnership has recorded a 13-3 second doubles record and is 3-0 in first doubles. McIntyre is also 14-6 in singles play this season in his freshman season.

CMS is providing live coverage of the regional tournament at this link

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