Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis team will enter the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament this weekend in Midland as the number one overall seed after claiming the league's regular-season crown.
FSU, which won its fourth consecutive conference regular-season championship this year, has received a first-round bye and will square off against either fourth-seeded Grand Valley State or fifth-seeded Davenport on Saturday (April 21) at 3:45 p.m. (ET).
The six-team league tournament will be held at the Greater Midland Community Tennis Center beginning on Friday (April 20). The other first-round matchup will pit third-seeded Northwood against number six seed Tiffin with the winner advancing to face second-seeded Wayne State on Saturday in the semifinals.
The title match in the conference tournament takes place Sunday (April 22) starting at 8:15 a.m. (ET). A third-place match will also be contested. FSU and Wayne State received the only first-round byes for the event.
The Bulldogs, who are ranked 21st nationally, are the two-time defending league tournament champions. Two years ago, Ferris State captured both the GLIAC Regular-Season and Tournament titles in the same campaign for the first time since 1994 when the tourney was structured in an individual-based format and not the current team dual format. FSU then repeated the feat last season and will be seeking its third consecutive sweep of both conference crowns this weekend.
Last week, FSU officially claimed its fourth-straight league regular-season crown by finishing GLIAC play with a perfect 8-0 record this year. Three years ago, in 2015, Ferris State had won its first league regular-season championship since 1999 and first outright crown since 1994. With this year's championship, the men's tennis squad joined the FSU women's volleyball team and men's basketball squad in capturing a fourth-straight league regular-season and/or tournament title.
Prior to the current four-year stretch, Northwood had won the previous 20 regular-season crowns in a row dating back to 1995, including a share of the title with FSU in 1999. Either Northwood or Ferris State have won the GLIAC Championship every year since 1982. The two schools shared the crown in 1982 before FSU had a 12-year run as the outright champion before the NU stretch.
The Bulldogs, who are currently ranked third in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Regional Rankings, own a 18-2 overall record and were a perfect 8-0 in regular-season action, marking the fourth-straight year in which Ferris State has finished unbeaten in GLIAC regular-season play. FSU has currently won its last 15 outings in a row to date this year with its only setbacks coming to NCAA Division I Western Michigan and regionally top-ranked Indianapolis.
FSU beat both GVSU and Davenport in the regular season by identical scores of 7-2 each. The Bulldogs' closest regular-season league match against teams advancing to the league tournament came against Wayne State by a 5-4 margin this season.
Six years ago, in 2012, Ferris State claimed its first GLIAC Tournament Championship since 1999 with a stunning 5-4 triumph over Northwood in the title match. FSU previously finished as the runner-up to Northwood seven consecutive seasons from 2000-06 and then placed fifth in 2006-07, fourth in 2007-08 and were third overall in 2008-09 before also finishing third in 2010-11. NU topped the Bulldogs 5-2 in the 2013 GLIAC Tourney title match before FSU took fourth place in 2014. In 2015, the Bulldogs again advanced to the final, but fell to Northwood 5-3 in Midland. However, two years ago, the Bulldogs reclaimed the crown with a 5-2 win over rival Grand Valley State and last year topped Northwood 5-1 in the league final.
The GLIAC Tournament represents the Bulldogs' final competition until an expected berth into the NCAA Division II Tournament. The NCAA Division II men's tennis selection show is Tuesday, April 24, at 8 p.m. (ET) with a live stream of the selection show available at NCAA.com.
For more information on the GLIAC Tournament, please visit this link:
GLIAC Championship Central