JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 4, 2004) - The NCAA announced today that the East Tennessee State men's tennis team will travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to face in state rival No. 14 Tennessee in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. The match will be played on Saturday, May 14 at 10:00 a.m.
This season ETSU (20-3 overall, 10-0 SoCon) repeated its performance from 2004 winning the SoCon regular season title and going on to win the Southern Conference Men's Tournament in 2005 to earn one of 30 automatic bids to the NCAA tournament. This will be the second consecutive NCAA appearance for ETSU and fourth overall NCAA appearance in Buccaneer Tennis History (1999, 2002, 2004).
Their opponent the Tennessee Volunteers (14-8 overall, 9-6 SEC) earned one of the tournament's 33 at-large bids after missing an automatic selection in the SEC Championship. UT lost fell to No. 3 the University of Florida in a 4-2 decision during the final round of the tournament. This year's appearance will be UT's 17th overall NCAA appearance.
"While it's disappointing that we don't get an opportunity to go some place new and challenge new opponents, it's great that we know who we are going up against and that is a great advantage heading into the NCAAs," stated Head Coach Yaser Zaatini.
The match history between the Bucs and the Volunteers stands at 16-0 in favor of UT with the most recent match between the two teams being played at the start of the 2005 season in which the Bucs fell in a tough 6-1 decision.
The winner of the ETSU/UT match will face the winner of the Brown and Ohio St. on May 15 in Knoxville at 1:00 p.m. The regional section winner will then travel to College Station, Texas for the final four rounds of the team championship, which will take place from May 21-30 at the Texas A&M Tennis Center.
The singles and doubles participants for the individual championships will be released Thursday, May 5. The singles and doubles tournaments take place over May 25-30 also at the Texas A&M Tennis Center.