MENâ€™S TENNIS DRAWS NO. 9 STANFORD IN FIRST ROUND OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For the sixth time in 11 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 (19-6), who earned an automatic berth into the tournament by winning last weekend’s Big Sky Conference Tournament championship, will travel to Stanford, Calif., to take on ninth-ranked and No. 9 seed Stanford (18-5) in the first round on Friday, May 8, at 2 p.m.
The other first-round matchup played at Stanford features No. 17 Pepperdine (19-9) taking on No. 40 Cal (11-10) on May 8 at 11 a.m. The winner of those two matches will be play in the second round at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 9. All matches will be played at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on campus.
Sacramento State enters the tournament as winners of four straight and 18 of its last 20 matches. The Hornets completed a perfect 8-0 season in the Big Sky, and posted 4-0 victories in both their semifinal and championship matches at last weekend’s Big Sky Tournament. Sacramento State will be making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance (1999, 2001-03, 2007, 2009) and has won seven Big Sky Tournament titles (1998-99, 2001-03, 2007, 2009) and nine Big Sky regular season championships (1998-99, 2001-03, 2006-09).
Earlier this year, the Cardinal defeated the Hornets, 7-0, at Stanford on Jan. 27. However, the Hornets kept the score a little closer than the final result indicated. In singles play, Anton Stryhas fell to Alex Clayton at No. 1 (6-4, 6-4), Jason Smith fell to Ryan Thacher at No. 3 (6-4, 6-4) and Marko Starcevic fell to Richard Wire at No. 5 (7-5, 6-3) in close outcomes.
In the Hornets’ previous NCAA Tournament appearances, the team has lost in the first round at Stanford (1999), at UCLA (2001), at Stanford (2002), at Cal (2003) and at Oklahoma State (2007). Sacramento State has drawn the regional host all six times when reaching the NCAA Tournament.
The 16 national seeds on this year’s men’s side are as follows: No. 1 Virginia, No. 2 Mississippi, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Tennessee, No. 6 Baylor, No. 7 UCLA, No. 8 USC, No. 9 Stanford, No. 10 Florida, No. 11 Kentucky, No. 12 Texas, No. 13 Illinois, No. 14 Alabama, No. 15 Texas A&M and No. 16 Florida State.
All first and second round matches are played on campus sites, and the final 16 teams will play at the NCAA Championships (hosted by Texas A&M) beginning on May 14.