MEMPHIS - - The University of Memphis men's tennis team (16-7) will face No. 11 seeded Pepperdine (also the No. 12 ranked team in the country) in the NCAA Round of 16 at the University of Illinois, Thursday, at 9 a.m. Pepperdine (26-5) advanced to the Round of 16 with a 4-0 win over UC Santa Barbara in the first round and a 4-0 win over LSU in the Second Round.
Memphis will be making its' first-ever appearance in the Round of 16, but will not be unfamiliar with the level of tennis that will be played there. Of the 15 other teams in the Round of 16, Memphis faced three of them during the regular season, playing at No. 8 Oklahoma, at No. 40 Vanderbilt and at No. 22 Baylor. Memphis faced Oklahoma in just its second match of the year as part of the ITA Kickoff Classic, losing 4-0, in Norman. The Tigers then ventured east on Interstate 40 to face Vanderbilt, falling 4-2. After facing three top 25 programs between the Vanderbilt match and the match against No. 22 Baylor on March 28th, the Tigers started to readjust their lineup, moving freshman Lukas Vrnak back into the doubles lineup and using juniors David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury in number one doubles play.
It was one trip later that the Tigers started to see the lineup change payoff. Memphis picked up a non-conference win over No. 50 Louisville, 4-0, then followed that up with a second win over a top 25 team on the road, defeating No. 24 VCU, 4-3. Those two wins started the Tigers' current nine-match win streak.
Tickets for the Tigers' NCAA Round of 16 game against Pepperdine are $10 for adults and $8.00 for youth. Memphis is playing in Session 1. An adult all-session ticket for all 12 days of the NCAA tournament (both men's and women's matches) is $100. Tickets can be purchased online HERE.
Live stats and live video for the match will be available from the University of Illinois website HERE.