Tennis Set to Host First NCAA Tournament Regional
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 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).
• Ended Murray State's two-year reign as OVC men's
champion by beating the Racers 4-0 in the OVC championship
• 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 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
• 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 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.