USTA-ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships Open Friday; No. 1 Florida to Face Penn in Opening Round

SEATTLE, Wash.- The 2006 U.S. Tennis Association-Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Men's Team Indoor Championships open with first round play on Friday at the University of Washington.

The Feb. 17-20 USTA-ITA National Team Indoor Championship is collegiate tennis' premier indoor team tournament. It began in 1973 and each season offers a preview of the teams to beatat the season-ending NCAA Championships in May. This will be the fourth time since 1999 thatWashingtonwill be hosting the event.

Live video streaming (and scoring updates) from select matchescan be viewed at http://allaccess.cstv.com/media/school_epg.jsp?sid=4600over the next four days. Live play-by-play action from Saturday's quarterfinals and Sunday's semifinals will also be broadcast at www.RadioTennis.com.

The schedule of play for tomorrow's first round matches is as follows (all times Pacific, seeding in parenthesis):

(4) Pepperdine vs. (13) Florida State, 8 am (at Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center)

(5) Mississippi vs. (11) South Carolina, 8 am (at Seattle Tennis Club)

(1) Florida vs.(16) Penn,11 am(Nordstrom)

(8) Baylor vs. (9) Duke, 11 am (STC)

(2) Georgia vs. (15) Colorado,2:30 pm(Nordstrom)

(7) UCLA vs. (10) LSU,2:30pm(STC)

(6) Virginia vs. (12) Washington, 5:30 pm (Nordstrom)

(3) Illinois vs. (14) Arkansas, 5:30 pm (STC)

Nine of the top 10 teams from the latest Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings highlight this year's field. Top-ranked Florida, No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Illinois, No. 4 Pepperdine and No. 5 Mississippi are among this year's title favorites. Florida opens against Penn in an 11 am match at the Nordstrom Tennis Center and No. 2 Georgia follows against Colorado at 2:30 pm. Host Washington, the No. 12 seed,will open against No. 6 Virginia at 5:30 pm. UW has advanced the quarterfinals two of the previous three times it has hosted.

The Southeastern Conference boasts six schools (and three of the top five seeds)in this year's championships. This is the most teams from the same conference since the SEC sent six in 1998 (and one shy of a record seven from the SEC in 1994).

Baylor beat Virginia in last year's final held in Chicago. It was the first final appearance for both schools. Illinois won its second straight USTA-ITA title the last time the event was held in Seattle in 2004. Prior to Illinois' consecutive titles a Pac-10 school had won the tournament every year since 1987.


Matches will take place at two different venues. The Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center is located on theUW campus, just north of Husky Football Stadium. The Seattle Tennis Club is located at 922 McGilvera, Blvd., just over three miles from campus.

As the governing body of collegiate tennis the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which was founded in 1956 and is based in Skillman, N.J., administers numerous regional and national championships, the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit, presented by the USTA, and the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings for men's and women's tennis at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA website is www.itatennis.com.

###

Matches in order they appear on draw sheet:

(1) Florida vs.(16) Penn

(8) Baylor vs. (9) Duke

(4) Pepperdine vs. (13) Florida State

(5) Mississippi vs. (11) South Carolina

(6) Virginia vs. (12) Washington

(3) Illinois vs. (14) Arkansas

(7) UCLA vs. (10) LSU

(2) Georgia vs. (15) Colorado