The University of Minnesota men’s tennis team received a bid for the 2007 NCAA Championships today and will head to Oxford, Miss., for the first and second rounds on May 11-12. The 37th-ranked Golden Gophers (15-9) will make their 13th appearance in the last 14 years in the NCAA Championships. Minnesota will face No. 28 South Alabama (21-4) in the first round on Friday, May 11 at 1 p.m., at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
Host Mississippi will take on Jacksonville State in the other first round match-up. The two winners will meet in the regional final on Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m., for the right to advance to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex at the University of Georgia for the final four rounds of the 2007 NCAA Championships.
The Golden Gophers, 5-5 in the Big Ten in 2007, were eliminated in the first round of last weekend’s 2007 Big Ten Championship, falling 4-1 to Purdue. Minnesota, Big Ten Champion Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin claimed bids to the NCAA Championships from the Big Ten.
South Alabama earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships by winning the 2007 Sun Belt Championship. The top-seeded Jaguars blanked No. 3 seed Denver 4-0 in the championship match. Mississippi (22-4) is ranked seventh in the nation after losing to top-ranked Georgia in the final of the SEC Championship. Jacksonville State (16-6) defeated Samford to capture the Ohio Valley Conference title and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. Minnesota and Mississippi each received at-large bids to the national tournament.
Last season, Minnesota went 1-1 at the NCAA Regional in Miami. The Golden Gophers upset 22nd-ranked LSU 4-2 in the first round before falling 4-0 to host Miami. The Maroon and Gold’s best finish in the NCAA Championships is a tie for ninth place in five different seasons.
For more information on the 2007 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships, log onto www.ncaaports.com. For information on the regional in Mississippi, go to www.olemisssports.com.