From UT Sports--
URBANA, Ill. - The seventh-seeded Tennessee Volunteers take on 10th-seeded Mississippi State on Thursday to open their final site stay at the NCAA Tennis Championships.
The match starts at 1 p.m. Eastern at the Atkins Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Illinois.
The Vols (25-8) reached the round of 16 and championship site via some exciting play in Knoxville over the weekend as Brandon Fickey clinched the Vols' 4-3 win over Clemson in the second round. Mississippi State (18-9) won its home regional as well, beating Harvard 4-1 in the second round.
Tennessee won the regular season meeting between the schools 4-2 on Mississippi State's home courts. Thursday's meeting, however, features different match ups at four of six positions in the singles lineup. The only two rematches are at the top of the lineup: top-ranked Vol Mikelis Libietis vs. SEC Freshman of the Year Romain Bogaerts on court 1 (previous meeting: unfinished) and Hunter Reese vs. Malte Stropp (previous meeting: Reese won in 3 sets).
Illinois' courts are practically home away from home for the Vols. This is Tennessee's third trip to Urbana this season, having played at Illinois in back to back weekends during the indoor season. The Vols went 3-0 during that 2-week stretch.
For more news and notes on the Vols' NCAA round of 16 match:
BY THE NUMBERS
24: Total NCAA selections since the championships changed to its present-day team format in 1979. Head coach Sam Winterbotham has led the team to the national tournament in all seven seasons at Tennessee.
40: Wins the Vols have enjoyed in the NCAA Championships. The Vols' all-time record is 40-23.
16: During Winterbotham's era, the Vols are 16-6 in the NCAA Championships. The team has advanced to the round of 16 five times.
8: Times the Vols have reached the quarterfinals or better at NCAAs, most recently in 2011. Tennessee has reached the finals three times (1990, 2001, 2010).