May 11, 2005
Three Big Ten men's tennis squads -- Illinois, Northwestern and Ohio State -- have advanced to NCAA Regional competition this Friday through Sunday, May 13-15.
Northwestern (12-12) travels to Athens, Ga., to face Clemson (24-10) on Friday at 9 a.m.. Should the Wildcats win, they would face the winner of Winthrop and sixth-seeded Georgia on May 14 at 1 p.m. Northwestern last competed in the NCAA Tournament back in 2002, suffering a first-round loss to Indiana State, 4-0.
For the seventh straight year, Illinois (23-3), the winner of four consecutive Big Ten Championship titles and nine of the last 10, will host an NCAA Regional at Atkins Tennis Center, May 14-15. The Orange and Blue earned the fifth-seed in this year's NCAA Championship and will face the Quinnipiac Bobcats (11-6) on Saturday at 10 a.m. With a win, the Illini would face the winner of Notre Dame and Louisville on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Ohio State (19-8) received its sixth-consecutive NCAA bid and will face Brown (23-5) on May 14 in Knoxville, Tenn. Should OSU win, the Buckeyes would play 10th-seeded Tennessee or East Tennessee State for a chance to advance to the Round of 16.
Currently, Illinois is ranked fifth in the nation by the ITA, while Ohio State is 26th and Northwestern is 46th.
In addition to three Conference teams earning bids to the NCAA Championship, a total of seven Big Ten student-athletes were selected as singles and doubles participants, while two were tabbed as alternates. Seventh-seeded Ryler DeHeart of Illinois joined teammate GD Jones, Minnesota's Avery Ticer and Ohio State's Devin Mullings as automatic qualifiers from the Midwest Region, while Illinois' Kevin Anderson, the League's Freshman of the Year, was awarded the at-large bid. Penn State's Mark Barry earned an automatic qualifying bid from the Northeast Region. Selected as alternates for singles competition were Indiana's Jakub Praibis (2nd) and Ohio State's Joey Atas (8th). In doubles, Ohio State's Scott Green and Ross Wilson, as well as Illinois' DeHeart and Jones, were tabbed automatic qualifiers from the Midwest Region.