Fresno State, fresh off winning its first-ever Mountain West men’s tennis team championship, is heading to Stanford in the 64-team NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs (18-10, 5-2) and the 12th-seeded Cardinals (17-6, 5-3 Pac-12) will play Friday at 2 p.m. at Stanford in a regional first-round match. Texas Tech (15-11, 2-3 Big 12) plays UC Santa Barbara (16-6, 5-0 Big West) in the other regional first-round match at Stanford. The winners play Saturday at 3 p.m. for a spot in a super-regional.
Fresno State is 1-18 all-time against Stanford, winning in 2012 – the last year the Bulldogs made an NCAA appearance. Fresno State is going to its 14th NCAAs in program history.
The Bulldogs won seven of their last eight including three straight at last weekend’s Mountain West tournament hosted at Fresno State. The third-seeded Bulldogs beat No. 2 Utah State 4-2 in the semifinals and No. 4 San Diego State 4-2 in the final. San Diego State upset No. 1 New Mexico in the semis.
Zdenek Derkas, a junior from Czech Republic, went 7-0 in conference to earn Mountain West Player of the Year honors and has won his last 13 straight matches. Angus Bradshaw, a junior from England, went 3-1 in the Mountain West tournament, clinching the team win in the championship match when he rallied for a 0-6, 6-4, 6-2 singles victory Saturday.
They anchor a starting lineup that was all international Saturday, boasting another Czech, two Turks, a Lithuanian and Swiss.