Nittany Lions Garner Bid into 124th NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship
April 29, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the third consecutive year and the fifth time in program history, the Penn State men's tennis team earned a slot in the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship as announced on Tuesday by the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Subcommittee.
Penn State (15-11, 6-4 Big Ten) heads into the NCAA Championship having won nine of its last 12 matches. The Nittany Lions will take on 27th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth (19-7) in the opening round of the NCAA Championship in Charlottesville, Va., on the campus of the University of Virginia. The match will take place on Saturday, May 10 at 1 p.m.
"We are very excited to be in the NCAA tournament this season," said head coach Todd Doebler. "It will be a great opportunity for us to play a talented team like VCU. We are looking forward to the challenge."
The winner or the Penn State-VCU match will move on to face the winner of the No. 1 Virginia-Fairleigh Dickinson matchup. The second round match will take place on Sunday, May 11 in Charlottesville at 1 p.m.
In his second season at the helm of the Nittany Lions, Doebler led Penn State to a 6-4 record in Big Ten play for the second year in a row, which tied a program-best mark in conference matches. The Lions notched seven victories over ranked opponents this spring, including a 4-3 triumph over then-21st-ranked Alabama at the Blue-Gray Tennis Classic.
Wednesday's selection marks the Penn State men's tennis program's fifth-all time NCAA Tournament berth. Last season, the Nittany Lions traveled to Los Angeles on May 11 for a match with 20th-ranked Pepperdine at USC's Marks stadium. The Lions dropped a 4-1 decision to the Waves.
Prior to last season's bid, Penn State fell to No. 21 Washington in the opening round by a score of 4-2. The Nittany Lions earned back-to-back spots in the tournament in 1997 and 1998. Penn State not only received a bid in 1998, but also grabbed its first NCAA Tournament win that year with a 4-1 upset over Columbia, earning a trip to the East Regional semifinals where they would fall to eventual regional champion Harvard.
The Rams come into the NCAA Championship having won their 11th Colonial Athletic Association title in the last 13 years. VCU knocked off William & Mary by a score of 4-1 to claim the title. The Rams were ranked as high as 19th earlier this season.
First and second-round competition will be held from May 9-11, with the winner of each site advancing to the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships at Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. For more information on the 2008 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships, please visit www.ncaasports.com.