April 30, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee women's tennis team will head to Chapel Hill, N.C. for play in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament on May 11-12, as announced by the NCAA Tuesday night.
The Lady Vols are making their 19th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament dating back to 1995 and 23rd overall NCAA showing.
Tennessee (12-11) will face 41st-ranked Virginia Commonwealth University (22-4) on Saturday, May 11, while second-seeded and host team North Carolina, will play South Carolina State in the first round.
The winners of those matches will face on May 12 for a chance to advance to the Round of 16, which takes place in Champaign, Ill. The championship site hosts the final four rounds from May 16-21.
"It's a good venue to play," said co-head coach Mike Patrick. "They have a great team, great coaching staff. It'll be a real challenge for us. Playing VCU is going to be tough. We just want to see if we can play a great match."
"I'm really excited to go there," said senior Kata Szekely. "We have nothing to lose honestly, in this second round. We just have to play hard, as we've been, fight hard and we'll see what happens. There are no easy matches, honestly. Everyone wants to get to the Sweet 16 just as bad as the other team and you just have to be ready every day."
The Lady Vols will square off against VCU for the second-straight season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Last year the Lady Vols shut out the Rams 4-0 in Charlottesville.
The two teams have met just two times in the past with the other meeting coming in the quarterfinals of the 2002 NCAA Tournament a 4-3 victory for Tennessee.
The VCU Rams are riding a 13-game win streak dating back to a 6-1 loss to Penn State on February 24.
"We'll be ready to compete and I think that's the big thing," said Patrick. "We're going to have to go out there and play our best tennis to get a chance to go on, but those guys are pretty confident. They haven't lost since February. That's pretty tough, but we'll be ready. It's a good challenge and something I look forward to doing."
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRACKET
The winner of the match will face the winner of the North Carolina (25-3)/South Carolina State (16-4) meeting.
The Lady Vols hold a 14-13 series lead against North Carolina with their last meeting coming in New York City last January.
The two teams have met just once in the NCAA Tournament, a 2004 meeting in Chapel Hill resulting in a 4-3 victory for the Lady Vols.
Tennessee and South Carolina State have never met on the courts.
INDIVIDUAL NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES
The NCAA Individual Championship selection will be announced on Wednesday, May 1 at 6 p.m.