SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For the 10th time in 15 years, the Sacramento State men's tennis team will make an appearance at the NCAA Tournament, it was announced today by the selection committee.
The Hornets (17-12), who earned an automatic berth into the NCAA's after defeating a pair of teams at last weekend's Big Sky Conference Tournament, will travel to USC to take on the No. 4-seed Trojans (23-4) in the first round. The two teams will play Friday, May 10, at 11 a.m., at the David X. Marks Tennis Stadium on the USC campus.
The other first-round matchup at Marks Stadium will feature 28th-ranked Alabama (14-13) taking on 40th-ranked San Diego (17-9) at 2 p.m. on May 10. The winners of those two matches will meet in the second round on Saturday, May 11, at 3 p.m.
Sacramento State's last match against USC came in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on May 13, 2011, when the team fell to the Trojans, 4-0, at Marks Stadium. Since joining the Div. I ranks in 1991-92, Sacramento State has faced USC just three times with the Trojans winning on each of those occasions.
The Hornets will enter the NCAA Tournament as winners of three straight, and 13 of their last 16 matches. The team completed the regular season with a 9-1 league record, a Big Sky co-regular season championship and the program's fifth straight Big Sky Tournament title. The Hornets defeated both Weber State (4-0) and Montana (4-1) at last weekend's conference tournament.
The Hornets play five underclassmen in their singles lineup, and are led by sophomore Marek Marksoo, who has won 13 straight singles matches, is 16-3 overall, and is ranked 113th in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Sacramento State will be making its fifth straight and 10th NCAA Tournament appearance (1999, 2001-03, 2007, 2009-13). The program has won 11 Big Sky Tournament championships (1998-99, 2001-03, 2007, 2009-13) and 11 Big Sky regular season titles (1998-99, 2001-03, 2007-11, 2013).
Of Sacramento State's nine NCAA Tournament appearances thus far, the team has lost its first round matchups at Stanford four times (1999, 2002, 2009 and 2012), UCLA twice (2001, 2010), USC (2011), Cal (2003) and Oklahoma State (2007). Sacramento State has now drawn the regional host in the first round of all 10 of the team's appearances at the NCAA Tournament.