Heading into national postseason play with a 15-14 (5-7 Southeastern Conference) record, the Kentucky men’s tennis team earned an at-large bid in next month’s NCAA Tournament on Monday. The Wildcats are set to compete in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in the program’s 29th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance, taking on Atlantic 10 Conference champion VCU on Friday at 1 p.m. ET.
“We are excited to be back in the NCAA Tournament,” said head coach Cedric Kauffmann. “The guys worked really hard to get here. We are really getting closer as a group and excited to head to Winston-Salem.”
The Cats and Rams are joined for the tournament’s first two rounds by Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Morgan State and host Wake Forest, the nation’s fourth-ranked team and champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Demon Deacons claimed the first NCAA team title in school history last season.
VCU enters Friday with a 15-9 overall record and a 2-0 mark in league play. Though the program’s lone all-time matchup with Kentucky resulted in a 4-2 win for the Rams over 20 years ago, the two teams shared three common opponents in 2019. Both schools defeated Dayton and lost at Ohio State, while the Cats won a 4-0 contest over a Virginia Tech team that defeated VCU 4-2.
VCU is coached by UK Tennis Hall of Famer Anthony Rossi, who spent three years on the Kentucky coaching staff after four prolific seasons on the court. The former ITA All-American finished his playing career under Kauffmann in his first season as UK head coach.
“Our focus right now is a very good VCU team coached by (Rossi),” Kauffmann said. “He has done a great job and will have his team ready for us. We are ready to get going.”
For the latest on Kentucky men’s tennis, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter and @KentuckyMensTennis on Instagram, and follow the team on the web at UKAthletics.com.
‑ GO CATS –
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