May 13, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
The field has been narrowed to 16 teams in the 2009 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships with two Big Ten teams emerging from the regional bracket in No. 13 Illinois and No. 3 Ohio State. The two squads will march to College Station, Texas, where Texas A&M University is set to play host to the event at Mitchell Tennis Center. Competition for the NCAA Round of 16 will begin Thursday, May 14, and continue until the evening of Monday, May 25.
The third-seeded Buckeyes (33-1) will square off against No. 25 Boise State (24-8) on Thursday, beginning at 4 p.m. (ET). Ohio State is 3-0 all-time against Boise State, recording its most recent win against the Broncos last season at the ITA Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 14, 2008, when the Buckeyes proved victorious with a 4-0 decision. OSU heads into College Station winning its last 23 dual matches of the season while shutting out 17 of its last 25 opponents. The appearance marks the sixth time in program history Ohio State will compete in Round-of-16 action at the NCAA Championships, as the Buckeyes look to advance to the quarterfinals for their fourth-consecutive season.
Ohio State punched their ticket to the Round of 16 after downing Xavier, 4-0, in the first round, and then defeating Michigan, 4-1, in second-round competition. Under 10th-year head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes have amassed a 19-9 NCAA ledger, advancing as far as the quarterfinals on four occasions. OSU will look to improve on last year's finish when it suffered a 4-2 quarterfinal loss to Texas in Tulsa, Okla.
Illinois (23-8) will battle No. 4 Georgia (24-3) in Thursday's opening match, slated for a 10 a.m. (ET) start time. The Illini are 4-8 all-time against the two-time defending NCAA champion Bulldogs who have won 14 straight NCAA matches in the tournament dating back to 2007. The two teams last met in the 2007 NCAA title match, when the then-No. 10 Illini dropped a 4-0 decision to the top-ranked Bulldogs. This weekend will mark the eighth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16 for the Illini, and their 10th in the last 11 seasons. The Orange and Blue will look to advance to the quarterfinals for the seventh time in program history.
The Illini swept Western Michigan, 4-0, in first-round play and notched a second-round win over Louisville, 4-1, in front of a home crowd in Champaign, Ill., to advance in the bracket. Illinois is now 19-2 in NCAA action when hosting the first and second rounds. Overall, the Illini have advanced to the semifinals three times and the finals twice, capturing the NCAA title in 2003.
Since the tournament opened to a 64-team field in 1999, the Big Ten has one national team title, one singles crown and three doubles championships, all belonging to Illinois.
In addition, the singles and doubles tournaments will take place after the conclusion of the team championship on May 20-25. Ohio State's Byran Koniecko is the Big Ten's automatic qualifier for the second straight year. Joining him in the singles draw are Illinois' Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich, Ohio State's Justin Kronauge and Steven Moneke, and Wisconsin's Moritz Baumann and Marek Michalicka.
In doubles, OSU's Moneke and Kronauge are the conference's automatic qualifying duo. Joining them in the field of at-large selections is Illinois' Nevolo and Ruan Roelofse.
Five Big Ten student-athletes were also selected as alternates for the championships in both singles and doubles. Among the eight Division I athletes to be named alternates for singles play is Minnesota's sophomore Ishay Hadash. Wisconsin's Baumann and Michalicka were also selected as an alternate pairing for doubles competition.
NCAA Men's Tennis Bracket
2009 NCAA Championships Central