GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum men's tennis team has earned the number six seed and will travel to Lincoln Memorial for a South Atlantic Conference Championship tournament quarterfinal match on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
The Pioneers finished with a 5-5 conference record and 14-7 overall, and enter the week ranked 34th in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II national rankings. All seven of the Pioneers' losses came to teams that have been ranked in the ITA poll at some point during the season, including six teams included in the latest rankings.
The 33rd-ranked Railsplitters earned the third seed after finishing 12-6 overall and 7-3 in the SAC, taking the tiebreaker for the third seed from Newberry by virtue of their 6-3 victory over the Wolves on March 30.
Tusculum is making its seventh consecutive appearance in the SAC Men's Tennis Championship tournament, and will be seeking its first championship since 2008. Lincoln Memorial is appearing in the conference tournament for the eighth time in its 11 years in the league, having won championships in 2010 and 2013.
The Pioneers defeated the Railsplitters 5-4 in Harrogate in their regular-season meeting on March 21, but Lincoln Memorial owns a 13-8 edge in the all-time series with Tusculum. It is the second straight season that the teams have met in the SAC tournament, with Lincoln Memorial winning 5-1 in the opening round of last year's championship.
The SAC tournament has expanded from six to eight teams this season, resulting in a quarterfinal round at campus sites on Tuesday. The four winners will gather at the Cayce Tennis Center in Columbia, South Carolina for semifinal matches on Friday afternoon, with the championship match set for Saturday at noon. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
South Atlantic Conference Men's Tennis Championship
Quarterfinals - Wednesday, April 18 at higher seeds
#8 Coker at #1 Queens, 2 p.m.
#7 Lenoir-Rhyne at #2 Wingate, TBA
#6 Tusculum at #3 Lincoln Memorial, 3 p.m.
#5 Anderson at #4 Newberry, 3 p.m.
Semifinals - Friday, April 20 at Cayce Tennis Center
Coker/Queens winner vs. Anderson/Newberry winner, 1 p.m.
Tusculum/Lincoln Memorial winner vs. Lenoir-Rhyne/Wingate winner, 1 p.m.
Finals - Saturday, April 21 at Cayce Tennis Center
Semifinal winners, 12 p.m.