May 3, 2011
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 13-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team earned the No. 13 overall seed in the 2011 NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament and will host the first and second rounds of the tournament at Barksdale Stadium from May 14-15.
Being able to play the opening two rounds on its home court was very important to UT co-head coach Mike Patrick.
"We thought we would be hosting, but you never know until it's announced," Patrick said. "A couple of teams that probably thought they were hosting didn't end up hosting and I'm glad that we'll be able to play at home."
Tennessee (19-7) has a 13-1 mark at home on the season. The Lady Vols will face College of Charleston in an opening round contest on May 14. The Cougars earned their way into the 2011 NCAA field by by posting a 21-7 record and taking home the Southern Conference tournament title.
This will be the second all-time meeting between the two schools and the first since April 14, 1978, when CofC topped the Lady Vols, 6-3.
The other two teams taking part in the Knoxville regional are Vanderbilt and Winthrop, who will face off in the first round on May 14 as well.
The Big Orange is familiar with both schools, having defeated Winthrop, 4-0, in an NCAA first round contest last season. The Lady Vols have faced off with Vanderbilt on 53 occasions, more than any other foe in school history. Earlier this season, the Orange and White topped the then-No. 8 Commodores, 5-2, on March 13 in Knoxville.
Still, Patrick said his squad is concentrating on the task at hand.
" We have to worry about College of Charleston," Patrick said. "We haven't played them before, so that's good for us. Also, that first match is always tough to get the rust off, since we haven't played in three weeks."
UT is aiming to build on its success in last year's NCAA tournament, when the Lady Vols advanced to the quarterfinals for only the second time in program history.
Patrick said he feels like this year's team may be in a slightly better position than last year's was at the same time.
"I think this year, we have more depth," Patrick said. "Right now, we're a little bit healthier. Hopefully nothing happens between now and then."
Live scoring for all three Knoxville regional matches will be available on UTLadyVols.com. Match times have not been determined yet.
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