By Dalton Ray–
For the 12th time, coach Rex Ecarma heard his team called during the NCAA selection show. The No. 43 men’s tennis team (21-9) will face off against Central Florida in Columbus, Ohio on May 12 at 11 a.m. The Cards will face the winner of host three-seed Ohio State and Butler on May 13.
Ecarma said the feeling of hearing his team called never gets old.
“I’m so happy for the guys … it’s my 12th trip to the NCAA and it feels like the first one,” Ecarma said. “I really, really wanted (Sean Donohue), our only senior, to experience a NCAA tournament.”
Donohue is a graduate of St. X High School in Louisville and called the feeling of being selected “incredible,” but not only for himself.
“This is my city, so it’s dear to my heart. I’m very happy for my parents, my family, friends and everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. It’s very special,” Donohue said.
U of L faced eight of the 64 NCAA tournament teams, including the first and second overall seeds Wake Forest and Virginia. Louisville is one of seven ACC teams in the tournament.
Louisville hasn’t faced UCF since 1997, but Ecarma says their scouting report will be ready.
“We’ve faced some of (their players) before — at the Vitale Tournament there was four UCF players and we played all of them. I remember some players from recruiting as well,” Ecarma said. “We already have some reports on them, but we’ll be getting a lot more information.”
Ecarma labeled this team the “redeem team” and said he couldn’t be prouder.
“I told this team on August 22 at our first team meeting that they’re going to redeem what Louisville tennis has always been,” Ecarma said. “Nationally team, nationally ranked singles player, nationally ranked doubles team and a NCAA tournament team, we did four-for-four.”
Photos by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal