KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The NAIA National Office released the brackets for the men's National Championship Tournament that begins on Tuesday, May 14th and Spring Arbor will play Belhaven University out of Jackson, MS. The first round of play begins on Tuesday morning at 9:00.
The 11th ranked (NAIA) Belhaven Blazers play out of the Southern States Athletic Conference and holds a 15-4 record overall and 3-1 in conference play. The Blazers are led by Nikita Lisov at #1 singles with a 7-6 record at the position and Jefferson Nino with an 11-2 mark at the #2 singles spot. Lisov is from Moscow, Russia while Nino is from Bogota, Columbia. Belhaven has 14 players on the roster from outside the United States.
Belhaven earned a trip to the NAIA National Tournament by picking up the fourth At-Large entry as the Blazers were ousted in the SSAC Tournament by eventual winner and NAIA #2 Auburn-Montgomery University.
Spring Arbor will be making their second straight appearance on the National Stage by winning the Crossroads League Tournament held last fall. The Cougars defeated Huntington University (7-2), Indiana Wesleyan (5-3), and Grace College (5-3) in the Crossroads tournament.
Spring Arbor enters the tournament with a 17-7 mark with four losses in the last six matches, but are planning on having the full services of the entire roster for the Championship Tournament. The Cougars have dealt with injuries this spring.
You can follow the Cougars progress throughout the tournament bracket here