May 11, 2006
Five Big Ten teams have been selected by the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Subcommittee as part of the field of 64 for the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships. First- and second-round competition gets underway Friday through Sunday, May 12-14.
No. 6 Ohio State (25-1) earns its seventh-straight trip to the postseason event after capturing the 2006 Big Ten Championship title. The Buckeyes, who also claimed their first-ever conference regular season title, host Butler on May 13 in the teams' second meeting this year. OSU claimed the first contest 7-0 on Feb. 17.
No. 39 Michigan also earned a first-round trip to the OSU Campus on May 13, setting up a potential second-round meeting between the two conference squads. The Wolverines take on No. 25 Arkansas, marking their first NCAA bid since 2002. For the 11thstraight year, Illinois (23-6) will enter the NCAA Tournament when it takes on Western Illinois in the Louisville Regional on May 12.
Minnesota travels to Miami, Fla., for a first-round contest with No. 22 LSU (15-9) on May 13. The No. 41 Golden Gophers (13-12)will make their 12th appearance in the last 13 years in the NCAA Championships. No. 45 Penn State received its third all-time tournament bid and first since 1998. The Nittany Lions (17-6) are set to face No. 21 Washington (18-5) in a first-round match-up to be held in Richmond, Va. on May 13.
The winner of each site will advance to the NCAA Championships at the Taube Tennis Center hosted by Stanford University. The team championship will be held May 20-23.
In addition to three conference teams earning bids to the NCAA Championship, a total of 10 Big Ten student-athletes were selected as singles and doubles participants, while three were tabbed as alternates. The conference's lone automatic singles qualifier, No. 11-seed Ryler DeHeart of Illinois, joined teammate Kevin Anderson, Big Ten Freshman of the Year Bryan Koniecko of Ohio State and Michigan's Matko Maravic, who were all awarded at-large bids. Minnesota's D.J. Geatz was selected as the first alternate for singles competition.
In doubles, Ohio State's Scott Green and Ross Wilson claimed the top seed. They are joined by fourth-seeded Illinois' Anderson and Ryan Rowe, who were also tabbed automatic qualifiers from the Midwest Region. Also earning bids were Illinois' DeHeart and Pramod Dabir and Michigan's Brian Hung and Matko Maravic. Northwestern's Adam Schaechterle and Matt Christian will serve as the third alternate pair.