Big West Receives Multiple Bids To NCAA Tennis Championships
Files associated with this release:
2011 NCAA Men's Bracket
2011 NCAA Women's Bracket
The Big West will be represented by two schools in the NCAA Tennis Championships as UC Irvine and Cal Poly earned slots in the men's field while Long Beach State and Cal Poly were placed into the women's bracket.
The UC Irvine men earned the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA's 64-team postseason field by virtue of capturing the Big West Tournament title last weekend in Indian Wells. It is the second straight NCAA appearance and 11th overall for the Anteater program. For the second year in a row, UCI is making the trek up the 405 Freeway to the Los Angeles Tennis Center to participate in a subregional hosted by UCLA. The Anteaters face Mississippi (12-9) in the first round on Friday, May 13 at 10:00 a.m.
UCI (19-7) captured its second consecutive and 14th overall Big West Tournament title after knocking off UC Santa Barbara and Pacific. The Anteaters enter the NCAA's ranked No. 40 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Cal Poly is making the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance, securing an at-large bid following a second place finish in the Big West. The Mustangs are 14-6 overall and ranked No. 45 in the ITA poll. They play Washington (17-8) in first round action on Friday, May 13 at a subregional hosted by Stanford. The Cardinal square off against Patriot League champion Army in the other first round match.
The Mustangs faced Washington on Jan. 29 in Seattle in a match the Huskies won 6-1.
This is the first time since 2000 that the Big West captured multiple bids to the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship. The Big West sent three teams - Boise State, New Mexico State and Pacific - to the postseason that year.
On the women's side, the Big West is sending two teams to the postseason for the first time since 2007. Big West champion Long Beach State and at-large selection Cal Poly carry the conference banner into competition next week.
The 49ers (20-5) captured their seventh conference tournament title in the last eight years when they defeated Cal State Fullerton, Pacific and UC Irvine at Indian Wells last week. It is the eighth overall NCAA Tournament appearance for the 49er program. No. 36 LBSU battles No. 27 Pepperdine in the first round on Saturday, May 14 at 9:00 a.m. in Stanford, Calif. The top-seeded and host Stanford take on Illinois-Chicago in the other first round match at noon. The two winners will meet on Sunday, May 15 at noon in a second round contest.
LBSU has won 20 matches for the fifth time during head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello's 14-year tenure with the program.
Cal Poly is making its second trip to the NCAA Tournament, and first since 2003. The Mustangs head to Waco, Tex. to participate in a subregional hosted by fifth-seeded Baylor. No. 38 Cal Poly opens up the tournament with a first round matchup against No. 24 Oklahoma at 7:00 a.m. (PDT) on Saturday, May 14. The following first round match pits Texas-Arlington against the host Bears. The two winners will face each other in a second round matchup at noon on Sunday, May 15.
The Mustangs and Long Beach State finished Big West play 7-1 to share the regular season championship. Although Cal Poly lost in the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament to Cal State Northridge, the Mustangs claimed an at-large bid on the strength of seven wins against ranked opponents and an ITA ranking that reached as high as No. 36. It is an added bonus for 11th-year head coach Hugh Bream, who will retire at the conclusion of the 2011 season.