WACO, Texas - For just the sixth time in program history and the first year since 2009, Baylor men's tennis will be on the road for NCAA Championship first and second round matches, May 11-12. The Bears will travel to Starkville, Miss., where they will take on Memphis in first-round action at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on the campus of Mississippi State. Mississippi State will face Alcorn State in the other first round match.
"We're just excited to be in the tournament, you've got to get in to have a chance to win and we feel like we've played pretty well the past few weeks and we're excited to build on that. We've got a tough start against a Memphis team that beat Tennessee earlier in the year, they're going to give us all we want. We've got to worry about ourselves. If we go out and play the way we're capable of, we're going to have confidence against anybody that we run across,' said head coach Matt Knoll.
Baylor's young squad, which features three freshmen in the top six of the lineup, will be making its 15th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bears, currently 17-11 on the season and ranked No. 28 nationally, have been to four of the last eight NCAA Final Fours, including a national title in 2004 and a runner-up finish in 2005. Baylor has advanced to the tournament's round of 16, 10 straight years and 12 times overall and has made nine consecutive quarterfinal appearances. This season marks the first time since 2001 the Bears have not been a top 16 seed.
Memphis, 19-5 on the season and ranked No. 32 in the most recent ITA rankings, is coming off a 4-0 loss to Tulsa in the title match of the 2012 Conference USA Men's Tennis Championship.
Mississippi State, the tournament's No. 9 seed, is 19-6 on the season and ranked ninth nationally. The Bulldogs will take on Alcorn State, 10-8, in first round action.
The winner of each site will advance to the NCAA Tennis Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., hosted by the University of Georgia. Team competition in Athens is May 18-22, while the singles and doubles championship will take place May 23-28. Selections for those tournaments will be announced on Wednesday, May 2.
Baylor is 41-13 in NCAA Tournament play all-time and has only lost twice in the opening two rounds (1998 and 2001).
All matches in the NCAA Championships shall be regulation dual matches with three eight-game, pro-set doubles played for one team point, followed by six singles matches, each valued at one team point, played best of three sets. Regular scoring will be used and a 12-point tiebreaker will be played at eight games all in doubles and at six games all in singles.