Tiger tennis returns to NCAA Tournament for 5th time in 6 years

Coach Paul Goebel (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Coach Paul Goebel (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Before Paul Goebel took over as head coach of the men's tennis team at University of Memphis in 2012, the Tigers had never been to the NCAA Tournament.

That's all different now.

Tiger tennis is back in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last six years.

Goebel said that is now the norm for his program.

"When they're coming to campus, their expectation is to make the NCAA Tournament," Goebel said in reference to his players.

Tigers All-Conference junior Ryan Peniston said Goebel's family-oriented approach to coaching is what makes U of M so good.

"On and off the court he tries to make us better people," Peniston said. "I think that just carries on the court. We feel relaxed, and we give our best efforts, and that's how this program has done so well."

Memphis lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Mississippi State last year.

The Tigers have used that loss as fuel all season long, and it's still in their minds as the team gets set to face Oregon in the first round of the tournament in College Station, Texas.

"I think that it motivated us even more to go out there and fight as hard as we can, because we saw that we were right there with them, said junior Kai Lemke. "I think we can do some damage this year."

The Tigers have one more practice before they travel to College Station on Wednesday.

The match up with Oregon is on Friday, with the winner facing off against the winner of Texas A&M and Buffalo.

The winner of the College Station regional advances to the Sweet 16 in Georgia on May 20th

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