PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team will make its inaugural appearance at the 2006 USTA/ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships. The 16-team field tournament will take place on Feb. 17-20 at the University of Washington’s Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle.
The Quakers received an automatic bid into the USTA/ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships by winning the ECAC Championships in October. Penn defeated Binghamton, Columbia, No. 1 seeded Penn State in the semifinal anddefending Ivy Leaguechampion Brown in the final.
“It is an honor for Penn to represent our region and conference at the National Indoors. I want our team to be proud to be the first team in Penn Tennis history to qualify for such a prestigious event,” said head coach Mark Riley.
The Red and Blue are ranked No. 49 nationally in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings released on Jan. 10. Harvard, (No. 40) and Brown, (No. 41) are the only other Ivy League schools ranked above Penn. Columbia is ranked No. 71. The Quakers are slated to play No. 11 Florida State, No. 66 Old Dominion and No. 75 Nebraska in addition to the teams they will be taking on at the National Indoors.
Returning to the championships is defending champ Baylor as well as finalist Virginia. The 2005 NCAA champion UCLA was also selected. Rounding out the field are: Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, LSU, Mississippi, Pepperdine, South Carolina, and host Washington. Two more teams will be determined the weekend of January 21-22 when the ITA Central and Mountain regions have their play-in tournaments.
Penn will get its season underway on Wednesday, Feb. 1, when they host UMBC at 3 p.m.