May 4, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For the ninth time in school history and for the third time in the past four years, both Vanderbilt’s men’s and women’s tennis teams have been selected to play in the NCAA Tournament.
Both teams learned their postseason fates on Tuesday when the 64-team fields were announced during the NCAA Selection Show on ESPNews. The 28th-ranked women’s team (13-9, 7-4 Southeastern Conference) will be making its 16th straight appearance in the tournament. The 38th-ranked men’s team (13-10, 5-6 SEC) will be making its ninth trip and third in four years.
Women earn a No. 2 seed
Vanderbilt’s women’s team is the second seed in the four-team regional in Knoxville, Tenn. The Commodores will open the 2010 NCAA Tournament with a first-round match against No. 41 Indiana at 9 a.m. CT on Friday, May 14. The winner of the Vanderbilt-Indiana match will then face either No. 14 Tennessee or Winthrop in the second round at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The ‘Dores first round match with the Hoosiers will mark the first Big Ten opponent of the season for VU. In it’s 15 previous NCAA tournament appearances, the Commodores have only faced one opponent from the Big Ten and that came in 2009 when they faced Illinois in the first round. The Commodores have never met Indiana in the NCAA Tournament.
This will mark the second trip this spring and third in the calendar year to Knoxville. Out of the four teams in the Knoxville regional, Vanderbilt has only played Tennessee. The ‘Dores have a 1-2 record against UT this spring, with their win (W, 5-2) coming during the SEC regular season on March 12. The Lady Vols edged Vanderbilt, 4-3 in the final day of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend and then outlasted the ‘Dores 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.
“We are thrilled to make the NCAA Tournament for the 16th year in a row,” Head Coach Geoff Macdonald said. “We are going to a very solid regional in Knoxville to play and Indiana team that is a very well coached and talented team. The top seed in our regional is Tennessee and we’ve played them three times already this year, so if we get by Indiana, we will face them for the fourth time. Everybody at this stage of the year is good, and we will work hard to get ready.”
With Macdonald at the helm, the Commodores have experienced a tremendous amount of success in postseason play. Before 2009, Vanderbilt had advanced to 11-straight Sweet 16’s. The ‘Dores best finish came in 2001 when they advanced to the National Championship match against Stanford. Vanderbilt also made the Final Four in 2004, led by All-Americans Aleke Tsoubanos, Kelly Schmandt and Audra Falk.
Men earn a No. 3 seed
Vanderbilt’s men’s team is the third seed in the four-team regional in Louisville, Ky. The Commodores will open tournament play with a first-round match against No. 23 Virginia Tech (15-7) at 10 a.m. CT on Saturday, May 15. The winner of Vanderbilt’s match will then face either No. 15 Louisville or Eastern Kentucky in the second round on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Vanderbilt has yet to face Virginia Tech this season, but is 1-0 against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference this spring, having defeated N.C. State, 6-1. This will mark Vanderbilt’s second trip of the season to Louisville. On Feb. 19, the Commodores lost 5-2 to the Cardinals in a match that was played indoors.
“I like where we are going,” Head Coach Ian Duvenhage said. “I don’t know much about Virginia Tech, but I know they are highly ranked and will be a tough opponent. We played Louisville there earlier this year, and had a good match with them, so we are familiar with them should we play them.”
The Commodores have been successful in past NCAA Tournament appearances. In each of its previous eight trips to the tournament, Vanderbilt has advanced to at least the second round. The team’s top performance came in 2003 when the Commodores finished runner-up.
Vanderbilt’s most recent NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2008 when the Commodores defeated Indiana (4-3) before falling to Ole Miss (4-1) in the second round.
Vanderbilt has defeated 10 ranked opponents this season. Individually, the team has two players ranked in singles. SEC Co-Freshman of the Year Ryan Lipman is ranked No. 34 and Vijay Paul is ranked No. 122.
Round 1 - Friday, May 14
9 a.m. – Vanderbilt vs. Indiana
12 p.m. - Tennessee vs. Winthrop
Round 2 - Saturday, May 15
Round 1 - Saturday, May 15
10 a.m. – Vanderbilt vs. Virginia Tech
1 p.m. – Eastern Kentucky vs. Louisville
Round 2 - Sunday, May 16