May 9, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After compiling a 20-11 overall record, five wins over top-10 teams, an appearance in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor Championship’s Elite Eight and a national ranking of No. 8, the University of Kentucky men’s tennis team will open NCAA Tournament play this weekend, hosting the first and second round’s of the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats welcome in No. 23 Michigan, No. 41 Virginia Tech and Western Michigan to the Bluegrass.
“Obviously its an exciting time to be playing,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “Our focus all season has been playing our best tennis for this tournament and we are excited with the opportunity to start things off on our home courts here in Lexington. I think our boys are battle-tested, and we are ready for this moment.”
The appearance is Kentucky's 24th all-time in the tournament, and marks the fifth-straight year that UK's Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center was selected as a host site for the opening two rounds. In addition, this is also Kentucky's 19th appearance in the last 20 tournaments.
Kentucky (20-11) will be the top seed in the Lexington regional, which will be contested on Friday, May 10th and Saturday, May 11th. The winner of the second round match will advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 and NCAA Championships that will be held at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., and will be hosted by the University of Illinois.
Joining the Wildcats in Lexington are the second-seeded Michigan, third-seeded Virginia Tech and fourth-seeded Western Michigan.
Michigan (16-9) went 9-2 in B1G play this season, including wins over every team in the conference with the exception of Minnesota and Ohio State. The Buckeyes outlasted the Wolverines in the B1G Conference Tournament Championship match this weekend, 4-2. Michigan is ranked No. 23 in the latest ITA release.
The third seed in the Lexington Regional is Virginia Tech (15-9). The Hokies went 6-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, and bowed out of the conference tournament in the quarterfinals to the eventual finalist, Wake Forest. VT currently holds a national ranking of 42nd, which is a season-high.
The fourth seed in the region is Western Michigan (19-9). The Broncos went 3-2 in Mid-American Conference play this season, and won the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 4-3 win over Northern Illinois to win the title.
In 2012, Kentucky advanced out of the Lexington regional with two 4-0 wins, knocking off Radford in the first round, and border rival Indiana in the second round to advance to the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive season.
Of the current composition of the top 16 teams in the country, who will all host opening-round matches, Kentucky collected six wins over those teams in 2013. In addition, UK played 21 matches in 2013 against teams ranked in the top 30 of the nation, with all losses in 2013 coming against teams comprised in the top 30.
Kentucky was advanced out of the Lexington Regional each of the last three seasons knocking off Virginia Tech, Louisville and Indiana in each respective second round to reach the Sweet 16 each season.
The Wildcats are led in singles by No. 4-national seed and fifth-ranked Anthony Rossi, who has compiled a 22-5 record this season on the No. 1 singles court. The First Team All-SEC selection was one of two Wildcats honored with postseason awards, as junior Tom Jomby was also elected to the First Team All-SEC.
The first match on Friday featuring No. 23 Michigan and No. 41 Virginia Tech will start at high noon, with the Kentucky/Western Michigan match slated for a 3:00 start. All matches will be stopped at the clinch, and the UK/WMU match will not start before 3:00 p.m. ET. The winners of the two matches will advance to the regional final, which will be on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET for a spot in the Sweet 16.
For complete coverage of the Lexington Regional, fans are asked to visit NCAA Tourney Central at ukathetics.com/ncaatennis. There, fans will find team information, live stats, schedules, rosters, ticket and parking information.
2013 NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament - Lexington, Ky., Regional
- (1) Kentucky
- (2) Michigan
- (3) Virginia Tech
- (4) Western Michigan
Friday, May 10th, 2013
Match 1 (Round of 64) - Michigan vs. Virginia Tech (Noon ET)
Match 2 (Round of 64) - Western Michigan vs. Kentucky (not before 3:00 p.m. ET)
Saturday, May 11th, 2013
Match 3 (Round of 32) - Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner (2:00 p.m. ET)
Tickets for the first and second rounds will go on sale Monday, May 6th. Fans can purchase championship passes and single-day tickets by calling 1-800-928-CATS or in person at the UK Ticket Office at the Joe Craft Center in Lexington, Ky. The Joe Craft Center is open 9 a.m. ET - 4 p.m. ET on Monday-Friday.
Ticket prices include:
Adult tournament pass - $10
Child/Senior tournament pass - $6
Adult single-day pass - $6
Child/Senior single-day pass - $4
Spectators may park free of charge each day in the Residential R-3 lots located on the north and south sides of the Nutter Training Center for no charge. Discounted parking vouchers at $3.00 may be purchased each day for those who park in Parking Structure #7 next to the tennis complex. Vouchers will be available at the admissions tent outside the Boone Tennis Center.
For more information regarding UK men’s tennis, log on to UKathletics.com.