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Men’s Tennis Set to Host First NCAA Tournament Regional 5/7/03

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt men’s tennis team has had 17 days so far to bask in the glory of winning its first Southeastern Conference Tournament championship. Now the celebrating is over, and the Commodores will begin its quest for the ultimate prize – a NCAA Championship.

The journey will begin at 12 p.m. (CST) Saturday, May 10, against in-state foe Tennessee Tech at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center. For Vanderbilt, it is the first time it has ever hosted a NCAA Tournament Regional. The Commodores, who are the tournament’s seventh seed overall, will be joined by Tennessee Tech, 26th-ranked Pepperdine and 39th-ranked Mississippi State in Nashville. This will be the fourth appearance for the Commodores in the tournament, as they have made the second round the previous three times.

Pepperdine and Mississippi State will kick things off at 9 a.m. (CST) Saturday. This will be the fourth meeting all-time for these two teams, as MSU holds a 3-1 lead in the series. Pepperdine enters the tournament with a 16-10 overall record and a West Coast Conference championship. If Vanderbilt and Pepperdine meet in the second round, it will be the first meeting all-time for these two teams.

Mississippi State, who is making its 13-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, enters the weekend with an 8-12 mark and an eighth-place finish in the SEC. The Commodores defeated the Bulldogs back on March 21 in Starkville, Miss., 5-2.

Vanderbilt and Tennessee Tech will square off for the first time since March 20,1998. The Commodores defeated the Golden Eagles, 7-0, in Nashville. The Golden Eagles, who won the Ohio Valley Conference championship two weekend’s ago, will enter Saturday’s match with a 15-9 overall record.

For information on all four teams and on admission and parking, please read below.

Bullet Points on Participating Teams from 2003 Season

Vanderbilt

• Vanderbilt is making its fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Commodores have made the second round in its previous three appearances.

• The 2002-03 Commodores set program records for overall wins (22), SEC victories (nine), home victories (11), winning percentage (.880) and national ranking (#6).

• Junior Bobby Reynolds became the first Vanderbilt men’s tennis player to be named SEC Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player at the SEC Tournament. He is also the first Commodore to earn a No. 1 ranking.

• Reynolds and junior Chad Harris earned All-SEC First Team honors, while sophomores Matt Lockin and Scott Brown were named to the second team.

• The Commodores have a combined record of 183-70 in singles matches (.723 winning percentage).

Tennessee Tech

• Ended Murray State's two-year reign as OVC men's champion by beating the Racers 4-0 in the OVC championship match.

• The Golden Eagles went undefeated in regular season play and has not lost a conference match since the 2000-2001 season. Tech has lost only four conference matches in the last five years.

Mississippi State

• Mississippi State is making its 13th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Team Championship. Only seven schools in the country (Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Southern California, Stanford, Texas Christian and UCLA) can make that claim.

• The Bulldogs have reached the NCAA Round of 16 or better in 10 of the last 12 seasons. MSU was a national semifinalist in both 1994 & 1998.

• Junior All-American Romain Ambert has once again one of the nation’s best players this season. Named 2002’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association Player to Watch, he is 78-29 overall during his career, which includes a 31-10 mark at the No. 1 position.

• Of Mississippi State’s 12 losses this season, 10 of them have come against
Top 20 teams, five of which were in the Top 10.

Pepperdine

• Pepperdine is making its 23rd NCAA Championship appearance overall and sixth straight since 1998.

• Juniors Diego Acuna and Calle Hansen are the only two returning players from last season’s 25-6 team that advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships and finished the year ranked No. 5. The tandem is ranked No. 6 nationally in doubles.

• The Waves’ line-up features four first-year players, including freshman Kevin Borzenski, Scott Doerner and Pedro Rico plus sophomore Alexis Rafidison.

• Pepperdine has played one of the most difficult schedules in the nation, facing the likes of No. 1 Illinois, No. 3 Baylor, No. 4 Stanford, No. 7 California, No. 9 Duke, No. 10 Texas A&M, No. 12 Washington, No. 15 Tulane, No. 20 Georgia and No. 21 Southern California.

Admission/Parking for Spectators

• Admission for the NCAA Tournament Men’s First and Second Rounds at the Currey Tennis Center will be free.

• Spectators wishing to come out and watch the action can park in the Highland Ave. parking garage, the McGugin Center parking lot (Jess Neely Dr.) or the lot behind the Hawkins Baseball Field (Jess Neely Dr.). All parking for Saturday and Sunday’s matches will be free.

 


 








 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)