NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt continues its run through the NCAA Tournament with Sweet 16 action Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. CT, versus the No. 1 UCLA Bruins at the Khan Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill.
The Commodores enter the Sweet 16 as the No. 16 overall seed in the tournament, while the UCLA Bruins travel to Urbana as the No. 1 overall seed. Vanderbilt is 18-10 this season and UCLA is 26-1. The winner will advance to Saturday’s Elite Eight match versus the winner of No. 9 Duke and No. 8 Kentucky at 4 p.m. CT.
Vanderbilt in the NCAA Tournament
The Commodores are making their third appearance in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and first since 2004. Vanderbilt advanced to the Sweet 16 after defeating ETSU, 4-0, in the first round and Illinois, 4-1, in the second round. The first and second round matches were at the Currey Tennis Center in Nashville. UCLA and Vanderbilt have only met twice in men's tennis. The Bruins beat the Commodores, 8-1, in a regular-season match in Los Angeles in 1981. Vanderbilt won the other meeting, downing UCLA, 4-3, in the NCAA Semifinals in Athens, Ga., in 2003. Vanderbilt would go on to fall in the NCAA Championship match to Illinois that year. The Commodores are 15-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
Vanderbilt in the NCAA Individual Championships
Two Commodores will remain in Illinois after the team competition to compete in the NCAA singles draw, which runs from May 22-27. Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman both received at-large selections into the 64-player draw. Lipman is one of 16 nationally-seeded players in the field. In the most recent ITA singles rankings, Lipman is ranked No. 10, while Austin comes in at No. 48.
- Lipman leads Vanderbilt with 30 singles victories this season and 20-6 mark in dual play.
- Lipman’s 30 wins in singles are the most since Chad Harris won 34 in 2003. He is the first VU player since Matt Lockin (2004) to record 20 dual wins.
- Lipman is 7-5 this season versus ranked players.
- Austin is 25-12 overall this season in singles. The 25 wins are good for second on the team.
- Kris Yee ranks second on the team with a 19-2 record in dual play this season.
- Three Commodores (Austin, Lipman and Yee) have at least 20 wins on the season in singles.
- Austin and Lipman are ranked No. 38 in the ITA doubles rankings.
- Lipman and Austin were named to the All-SEC First Team, while Yee earned All-Freshman Team honors.
About No. 1 UCLA (26-1)
UCLA advanced to this week's NCAA Round of 16 by winning two regional matches last weekend at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins beat both UMKC and Drake by 4-0 scores. With the two wins, UCLA improved its record to 32-0 all-time in NCAA Regional matches since regional competition was instituted in 1998. Individually, UCLA has four players ranked in singles led by Adrien Puget at No. 22. He is followed in the top 30 by Marcos Giron (No. 25) and Dennis Novikov (No. 27). In doubles, Giron and Novikov are listed at No. 42, followed by Puget and Karue Sell at No. 77.
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Following the NCAA Team Championship, Vanderbilt will be represented in the NCAA Singles Championship, May 22-27, at the Khan Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill.