Doubles Team Advances At NCAA Tennis Tournament

College Station, Tex.--The Auburn doubles team of <b>Andrew Colombo</b> and <b>Mark Kovacs</b> advanced to the round of 16 at the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships on Thursday.

The Tigers defeated David Mercier and Nicholas Yip of Utah 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4).

Mark Kovacs is one of three seniors on the Auburn tennis team.

Colombo says the he and Kovacs, Auburn's No. 2 doubles team, have been playing well this year as a 21-3 spring record would indicate. (AU's No. 1 doubles team of Junaid and Tiago Ruffoni was sidelined by an injury to Ruffoni's elbow.)

"I really think we have a chance to win a lot of matches even though we are not one of the seeded teams," Colombo said. "I feel we can compete with anybody here."

"They picked up their level as the match went on and got the job done," said Auburn coach Eric Shore. "We are going to have to play much better tennis tomorrow if we want to stay in this tournament. We hung in there and came through with a win."

Auburn's only player in the singles action, sophomore Junaid, fell in the second round to Ryan Haviland of Stanford by a 6-2, 6-2 score. Junaid defeated Saber Kadiri of Virginia Tech, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 in the opening round of singles.

"The guy from Stanford played very well," Shore said. "Rameez never got into the flow of the match. He never got on Haviland's serve and he started to feel the pressure of his service game."

The Tigers finished the team competition on Sunday, losing to UCLA as they tried to advance to the Final Four of the event that was won by Southern Cal, an upset winner over Georgia.

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