Tennis Gets Northwestern in NCAA Opener
BATON ROUGE --- The 21st-ranked LSU men's tennis team begins its NCAA tournament run on Saturday, May 12, when they take on No. 43 Northwestern at Ambler Tennis Stadium in Durham, N.C., the NCAA announced Tuesday.
The first round will begin at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday and will mark the first contest between the Tigers (14-10) and Northwestern (14-9) this season. The winner of the match will advance to take on either George Washington or the No. 8 seed Duke Blue Devils at 2 p.m. ET that day.
"This is a very strong regional with Northwestern being a tough first round opponent," head coach Jeff Brown said. "It should be an exciting first round with the winner going on to play an elite Duke team."
LSU is led by veteran players, No. 31 Olivier Borsos and No. 59 Neal Skupski. Borsos is currently riding a five-match win streak on the top court. He is 12-10 and has defeated seven ranked opponents this season, while senior Skupski is currently 14-8 on the season.
The 91st-ranked newcomer Chris Simpson will also need to play his best to help the Tigers advance in the tournament.
The Northwestern Wildcats are headed back to postseason play for the first time since 2009. With a pair of five-match winning streaks and seven wins in the Big Ten under their belt, this marks Northwestern best men's tennis team since 2001.
LSU is 4-4 all-time against Northwestern. The two teams last met in 1974.
The Tigers hold a 28-27 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament. This appearance will mark the 27th time that LSU has made the tournament.
With Brown at the helm, the Tigers have made the tournament 14 out of his 15 seasons as head coach. LSU reached the semifinals back-to-back in 1998 and 1999 in his first two years.
The SEC is well represented with 10 total schools in the NCAA tournament as LSU is joined by Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Auburn, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Florida. Georgia, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Florida and Mississippi State will all act as national hosts for the tournament.
For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access to the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's team on Twitter @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.