Shannon Buck loses at NCAA Men's Tennis Championships
May 21, 2003
Air Force freshman Shannon Buck lost his first round match at the 2003 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Singles Championships Wednesday to Mark Van Elden of Oklahoma State, 7-5, 6-0. The match was played at the University of Georgia. Buck's outstanding season ends with an overall singles record of 31-4.
Van Elden jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first set, but Buck broke back and each player held serve until Van Elden broke Buck at 6-5 to capture the set. The OSU sophomore held an early 3-0 lead in the second set when the rains came and halted the match.
Buck, ranked No. 71 in the country, could not recover after the match moved onto an indoor court as the 59th-ranked Van Elden swept the second set.
"He just overpowered me today," said Buck. "He had a big serve and a big forehand. I played pretty well, but it wasn't good enough. This has been a great experience for me."
Buck was just the second Falcon ever to qualify for the NCAA Championships at its current 64-player format. Jerry Ledzinski, AFA's former assistant coach, played in the tournament as a junior in 1994.
Buck, the 2003 Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Year, tied Ledzinski's school record for most wins at No. 1 singles in one season (26) and posted the second-best winning percentage (26-1, .963) for one season by any position player in school history.