FAIRFIELD, CT (May 3, 2011) – The Northeast Conference Champion Sacred Heart men's tennis team will take on the Virginia Cavaliers in the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 13th. The 64-team field was announced early Tuesday evening on NCAA.com as the Pioneers drew the #1 overall seeded Cavaliers.
This is the second trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Sacred Heart Pioneers after winning the program's first-ever NEC title in 2009. SHU was matched-up with the #12 seeded Texas Longhorns in their first trip to the NCAA postseason. The Pioneers posted a 16-7 record this season and were 5-2 against the NEC. SHU earned the top-seed in the NEC Tournament and won their second championship in the last three years beating Quinnipiac in the title match.
SHU is led by two-time Northeast Conference Player of the Year Kirill Kasyanov (Yonkers, NY) who will carry a 21-match winning streak into the tournament. Kasyanov posted an impressive 30-6 mark in 2010-11. He will be joined by fellow seniors and All-NEC honorees in Nick Mazzarese (Stonington, CT), Michael Syer (Oakville, Ontario) and Cole Conrad (Fairfield, CT) in closing out their SHU careers in the NCAA Tournament. Juniors Chadd Sullo (Orange, CT) and Chris Ujkic (Mattituck, NY) also earned all-conference honors this season.
This will be the second consecutive season that Virginia will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The first two rounds will play out on Friday and Saturday, May 13th and 14th at the Snyder Tennis Center. Virginia will also be hosting the first two rounds of the women's regional as well. The men's regional draw features the Pioneers and Cavaliers facing off while Wake Forest and VCU will play in the other first round match.
Virginia is the No. 1 seed for the fourth consecutive year, becoming the first school to be the top seed in four straight tournaments since USC in 1991-94. The nation's only undefeated team this season (29-0), Virginia won its fourth consecutive ITA National Team Indoor Championship and its fifth consecutive ACC Championship. It marks the eighth consecutive year that Virginia has received a seed and hosted a regional. The Cavaliers are the only team to be a top eight seed in the tournament in each of the past eight seasons. They have reached the NCAA quarterfinals in six straight tournaments, including semifinal appearances in three of the last four years.
2011 NCAA TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP - CHARLOTTESVILLE REGIONAL
FRIDAY, MAY 13
10 a.m. Wake Forest (13-11) vs. VCU (22-6) - men's first round
1 p.m.* Virginia (29-0) vs. Sacred Heart (16-7) - men's first round
SATURDAY, MAY 14
4 p.m.* Men's Second Round