May 3, 2011
WACO, Texas - For the eighth time in the last nine years the Baylor men's tennis team will host first and second round action of the NCAA Tennis Championship. Baylor, the tournament's No. 5 seed, will welcome Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Rice and Texas Tech to Waco and the Baylor Tennis Center for play on Friday and Saturday, May 13-14.
Baylor's men's squad will be making its 14th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bears, currently 19-4 on the season and ranked No. 5 nationally, have been to four of the last seven NCAA Final Fours, including a national title in 2004 and runner-up finish in 2005.
The 2011 NCAA Championships marks the ninth time in Baylor's 14 NCAA postseason appearances that the Bears have stayed home for the opening weekend of championship action.
Men's competition will begin on Friday, May 13. Head coach Matt Knoll's Bears will take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (15-9) in first round action while Rice (17-9) and Texas Tech (16-9) will also meet in the first round. Winners of Friday's matches will play on Saturday afternoon.
The winner of each site will advance to the NCAA Tennis Championships at the Taube Family Tennis Center, in Stanford, Calif., hosted by Stanford University. Team competition in Stanford is May 19-24, while the singles and doubles championship will take place May 25-30. Selections for those tournaments will be announced on Wednesday, May 4.
Baylor is 38-12 in NCAA Tournament play all-time and has only lost twice in the opening two rounds in 1998 and 2001.
"We are thrilled to host it really means a lot to us to be here and I think it will be a lot of fun for the guys. We have so many guys that it's their last go, we have three seniors and it's going to be good for them to play some of their last matches here," Knoll said.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tennis Championships by winning the Southland Conference tournament. Baylor, Rice and Texas Tech were at-large bids to the 64-team field. Baylor is currently ranked No. 5 in the ITA poll, Rice is listed at 43rd, while Texas Tech is ranked No. 22.
"We made a mistake in the Big 12 Tournament of worrying about Sunday and didn't worry enough about Saturday," said Knoll. "I think we're going worry a lot about our first round here and worry about our second round here, I think that experience is going to help us. We just have to survive and advance and not worry too much about how the draw fell, play who's in front of us."