Jan. 29, 2009
The eighth-ranked Tennessee men's tennis team hosts Harvard, Drake and Louisville this weekend at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center in the inaugural ITA Kickoff Weekend.
"It's a great honor to host the event," head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "The top-15 teams in the nation were offered the opportunity to host so it's a great privilege that we were selected.
"I think it's a good test for us that we're able to start the season with a very meaningful weekend of tennis, obviously having the winners advancing to the national indoor championships in Chicago is a great opportunity. I feel the guys are ready to compete for this chance."
Tennessee opened the season this past weekend with two impressive victories over in-state foes ETSU and Tennessee Wesleyan. Eight different UT netters captured singles victories in the two matches, including John-Patrick Smith who knocked off ninth-ranked Enrique Olivares of ETSU, 6-0, 6-2.
The Big Orange return six lettermen from last season's 23-4 squad, including five of the six players that usually made up UT's singles and doubles lineup.
The ITA Kickoff Weekend is in its first season. In the past, the Indoor Championship field has been selected before the season began and there were no play-in matches. This season, the ITA selected 15 schools to host first and second round matches. The rest of the field was given the opportunity to pick were they would go for the regional.
The 15 schools that win both of their matches at the regional will be invited to play in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at the Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago, Feb. 13-16.
Tennessee is the No. 1 seed in the Knoxville regional and hosts No. 4 seed Harvard at 10 a.m. Drake and Louisville play in the other first round match at 2 p.m. The winners of the first round matches face each other at 3 p.m. Sunday with the winner advancing to Chicago.
|Saturday, January 31|
|Match 1:||10 a.m.||No. 8 Tennessee vs. No. 47 Harvard|
|Match 2:||2 p.m.||No. 43 Louisville vs. No. 52 Drake|
|Sunday, February 1|
|10 a.m.||Loser Match No. 1 vs. Loser Match No. 2|
|3 p.m.||Winner Match No. 1 vs. Winner Match No. 2|