May 3, 2011
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech has received an at-large selection to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship for the second straight year, has been made the 15th overall seed and has been selected to host one of the 16 first- and second-round sites May 13-14 at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
Tech takes on Middle Tennessee State in first-round action at 1 p.m. Friday, May 13, preceded by Florida State and Mississippi State at 10 a.m. The winners will meet at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14. The winner of the Saturday match will advance, as will the survivors in the other 15 NCAA first- and second-round matches at the various campus sites (see link above for the complete field) to the NCAA Championship round of 16, May 19-24 in Stanford, Calif. The NCAA singles and doubles championships will take place May 25-30 at Stanford.
The Yellow Jackets’ women’s team also is hosting first- and second-round matches the same weekend, the first time both Tech teams have hosted NCAA tennis competition the same year. First-round matches for the women’s regional are 9 a.m. and 12 noon Saturday, May 14, with the championship match scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, May 15.
Ticket prices for the First- and Second-Round matches are as $5 for adults and $3 for students. Tickets must be purchased each day of the tournament and grant you access to all matches on that day. All tickets will be sold at the gate, which will open one hour prior to the first match each day.
“We’re excited to accomplish one of our goals this year in hosting. We have played well at home so we look forward to getting a good crowd out to support us,” said Tech coach Kenny Thorne, whose team is 10-1 at home this spring. “It will be a great weekend of tennis, having our women hosting again as well. This will be some of the best college tennis in the nation so we hope to have Yellow Jacket fans from all around out to watch.”
Thorne, in his 13th season at his alma mater, has guided the 16th-ranked Yellow Jackets to a 19-5 overall record and an 8-3 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Tech is competing in the NCAA Championship for the 14th time, and for the 10th time in 13 seasons under Thorne. The Tech men have hosted preliminary rounds once before, in 1997.
Middle Tennessee State won its third consecutive Sun Belt Conference title to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Championship. The Blue Raiders come to Atlanta with a 13-12 overall record and are in the championship for the 10th time. The Jackets are 5-4 all-time against MTSU.
Mississippi State, ranked 21st in the nation, earned an at-large bid by winning the Southeastern Conference Western Division with an 8-3 record and posting a 13-8 overall mark. Florida State, ranked 47th in the nation, has an at-large bid to the championship after compiling a 9-15 overall record and a 4-7 mark in the ACC, finishing in eighth place.
Tech faced both Mississippi State and Florida State at home earlier this season, defeating the Bulldogs, 4-0, on Feb. 5, and the Seminoles, 6-1, on March 6. The Jackets are 6-5 all-time against Mississippi State, 29-29 against Florida State.
“We have three quality men’s teams coming to our campus,” Thorne said. “Middle Tennessee State played a good match in beating South Alabama to win their conference and they have our full attention. The guys are finishing exams this week but have done a great job of practicing and conditioning as well. The guys have trained hard all year. They will be ready.”
Tech is 7-13 all-time in NCAA Tournament matches, 4-9 in nine previous appearances under Thorne. The Yellow Jackets won their first-round match last year in Lexington, Ky., defeating Binghamton, 4-1, before falling to host Kentucky, 4-1.
Tech has advanced past the second round of the NCAA Championship once in its history, in 1994 at South Bend, Ind. The Yellow Jackets defeated Florida State, 4-2, VCU, 4-1, and North Carolina, 4-3, in the Region II tournament in Columbia, S.C., before being eliminated by TCU in the round of eight in South Bend.
The Yellow Jackets last hosted an NCAA regional in 1997, losing their first-round match to Duke, 4-3.
NCAA TENNIS FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND SCHEDULE
Bill Moore Tennis Center, Atlanta, Ga.
All times Eastern
Friday, May 13
Florida State men (9-15) vs. Mississippi State men (13-8), 10 a.m.
Georgia Tech men (19-5) vs. Middle Tennessee State men (13-12), 1 p.m.
Saturday, May 14
Mississippi women (11-10) vs. Arizona State women (14-6), 9 a.m.
Georgia Tech women (13-10) vs. Jacksonville State women (13-10), 12 noon
Men’s championship match, 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 15
Women’s championship match, 1 p.m.