Shannon Buck Seeded No. 1 at Denver Invitational
Air Force senior Shannon Buck is the top seed at the season-opening University of Denver Invitational, which begins Friday, Sept. 23 at the Stapleton Pavilion on the DU campus. Buck, who was 26-3 last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, is ranked No. 28 in the country entering the 2005-06 campaign.
In addition to host Denver and Mountain West Conference foes Utah and New Mexico, the Falcons will battle players from the Universities of Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Arizona and Pepperdine. There are two singles brackets, each a double-elimination format, while the 32-team doubles bracket is single-elimination.
Buck opens the tournament on Friday against Chad Tsuda of the University of Colorado. Fellow senior Trevor Johnson is the only other Falcon in the "A" bracket, and will face Zach Ganger of Utah in the first round. Buck and Johnson form the tournament's No. 3-seeded doubles team and will play their first match on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Six Falcons will compete in the "B" singles bracket, including juniors Justin Lau, Robby Alexander, Ryan White and Keith Cronican, sophomore Greg Ferry and freshman Andrew Veerathanongdech. Lau and Alexander will form a doubles team, as will Cronican and White, and Ferry and Veerathanongdech.
Air Force head coach Rich Gugat enters his 32nd season at the helm of the Falcons. He has a career record of 690-208, placing him No. 2 on the list for most wins by an active Division I head coach.
After this weekend's tournament, Buck and Johnson will compete in the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla. The two will attempt to make the main draw through the qualifying draw, while Buck is in the 64-player main draw for singles. The tournament starts Monday, Oct. 3 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 9.