{Bracket reveal video courtesy of UNO Athletics}

NEW ORLEANS — One week after winning the program’s first Southland Conference Championship, the UNO Privateers Men’s Tennis team is NCAA Tournament Regional bound.

Next up, a “David and Goliath” matchup with the Florida Gators. The 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament bracket and the defending National Champion – Florida Gators.

“We’ve played schools in this sport. Whoever shows up on that day and plays this game with the right mindset and has their execution in place, they can win. At the same time we know that we’re playing one level above us. A lot of these players have played a lot of tournaments, and I think that they will stand up to the challenge,” says UNO Head Men’s Tennis Coach Burzis Kanga.

Burzis Kanga has been head coach of the UNO Men’s Tennis program for a total of 16 years and has seen one team after another overcome some form of adversity.

His 2021 team was tested early and often.

“We went through Covid. We had to evacuate to Memphis. We were practicing in Memphis, getting ready for the fall. Then comes Ida. We’ve had enough knockout punches but it’s how you get back up and do what you’re supposed to be doing and doing it at your best, and this team is something special,” says Kanga.

This special group’s historic season comes with a 16-6 record, championship hardware, the program’s first Southland Conference player of the year, and it’s first local recruit being a key part of their championship run.

Former Brother Martin Crusader Matthew Armbruster.

“When you look at all of these things, it was like putting the pieces to the puzzle. That’s what it’s been. Recruiting the right group of players and the players who believe in themselves. And I think they knew going into this that we have never won a championship. It makes it that much more special,” says Kanga.

UNO and Florida will face off Friday in the Gainesville regional.

All matches will be streamed on the TennisONE App.

Here is the full Interview with UNO Head Tennis Coach Burzis Kanga: