Tuesday, June 29, 2010

NCAA Championships at Illinois in 2013

For the first time in nearly 50 years, a Big Ten school will be hosting the NCAA Tennis Championships.  The University of Illinois has been awarded the 2013 Men's and Women's  Championships.  They will be hosting the team event from the round of 16 on, as well as all of the singles and doubles matches.

It was 1964 (Michigan State) the last time a Big Ten school hosted the NCAA Championships.  Since then the event has been all over, with the University of Georgia hosting the majority.  The Khan Outdoor Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center was finished in 2009 with the goal of hosting a championship. The Fighting Illini were hoping to host in '11 or '12, but lost out to the Stanford Cardinals and the Bulldogs

The 2013 appointment came in as a happy surprise to many fans.
In addition to the boost to the tennis programs of men's and women's coaches Brad Dancer and Michelle Dasso, the event will bring a multitude of visitors to the Champaign-Urbana area.  Illinois' athletic director Ron Guenther is thrilled with the news, stating that the event will provide "an opportunity to showcase our facility and engage our community."

Both Illini tennis teams will be working hard at recruiting to build championship teams for the 2013 NCAA Championships -- coming exactly ten years after the Fighting Illini men won the crown in an undefeated season.  It will also be a boost for other Big Ten teams (like top five ranked Ohio State), who will have familar courts to play at that won't require long travel. Play is scheduled for May 16-27, 2013

Photos: above- Illinois Assistant Coach Marcos Asse at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Center; left-Stephen Ho is one of the Illini players who will be eligible to compete at the 2013 NCAA Championships at Illinois.  Photos by Marcia Frost.
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