CHARLESTON, S.C. - College of Charleston's Kyle Parker (Richmond, Va.) and Mickael Trintignac (Le Cannet, France) automatically qualified for the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Doubles Championship and will begin their historic journey with first-round action set for Thursday, May 24, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of host University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.
The Cougar duo, who are currently ranked No. 67 in the latest Campbell's/ITA Collegiate Doubles Rankings released on April 30, are the first men's tennis players in program history to reach the individual national tournament in either singles or doubles. They were one of 14 automatic qualifiers nationally and the lone doubles team representing the Southern Conference.
"This is a special treat for Guga (Trintignac) and KP (Parker) and for the College of Charleston," CofC Head Coach Jay Bruner said. "It is also special for us to be able to represent the Southern Conference with so many good doubles teams in our league this year. They played exceptionally well this season and being ranked high enough to make the national tournament is quite an accomplishment for them. I am excited to take them to Athens. They are going to have a great experience and we look forward to the challenge in front of us."
Parker and Trintignac are among the 32-team field and will face the No. 17-ranked brother duo of Chris Thiemann and Marcel Thiemann of Ole Miss on Thursday at a time still to be determined. The winner of the match will move on to the Round of 16 against either third-ranked and third-seeded Juan Spir and Kevin King of Georgia Tech or No. 58-ranked Francis Alacantara and Remi Boutillier of Fresno State.
"It is really special," said Trintignac, a senior, who also helped lead the Cougars to their first NCAA Tournament team appearance since 2003. "We didn't expect it being ranked just outside of the top 60, but it was definitely great news. We have spent the last two weeks together practicing and are excited for the opportunity. As a team, we did everything we wanted to accomplish this season and this is an added bonus."
Parker and Trintignac put together a strong NCAA resume this season with 18-4 overall record at the No. 1 position for the Cougars including an 8-2 league mark which earned the tandem All-Southern Conference First Team honors. The pair also became the first CofC duo to make an appearance in the national rankings since Sagi Zakin and Henrico DuPlessis in 2002.
During the regular season, they defeated top doubles teams hailing from nationally-ranked schools in Clemson, Georgia State and South Carolina highlighted by an 8-3 win over then No. 64-ranked Chip Cox and Nick Jones of South Carolina, now ranked No. 23 in the nation, on March 18 in Columbia, S.C.
"We have been working hard all year," said Parker, a junior, who will return to the squad next season. "We had a couple of good wins - our best one against South Carolina which really boosted our national ranking and helped us get to NCAAs. We are looking forward to Thursday."
All doubles matches will be the best of three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six games all will be used for all matches. Live scoring and video will be available at the NCAA Tournament Central page at: http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/ncaa-2012.html and fans can also follow via UGA's Twitter account @NCAATennis2012 and hashtag #NCAAMWT