Lincoln, Neb. - For the second consecutive season, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are making an appearance in the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Tournament, as they received one of 33 at-large bids when the field was announced Tuesday afternoon. The 41st ranked Huskers earned the bid after finishing the season with a 15-12 record while going 1-6 in Big 12 play. The Huskers will play No. 27 Miami, who owns a record of 14-8 with an 8-3 ACC mark. The match against the Hurricanes will take place on either Friday, May 13, or Saturday, May 14, in Gainesville, Fla., as the Florida Gators play host to the first and second round matches.
After learning that his team had been selected for the NCAA tournament, Nebraska head coach Kerry McDermott said he would like playing in the field to become custom.
"I'm excited," McDermott said. "Last year our goal was to qualify, and now I'd like to make this a yearly tradition. We've made big strides the past few years."
The other two teams at the Gainesville pod are South Carolina State and the overall No. 7 seed Florida Gators. McDermott was very excited about the Huskers' matchup.
"Playing Miami is a good draw for us. They have new players and we won't know any of them and I think that's a good thing," McDermott said. "They're going to present a good challenge."
The Huskers made the tournament after playing a challenging schedule. Over the course of the season, the Huskers faced 18 ranked teams with seven being ranked in the top 25. NU's wins over ranked teams include: No. 38 Vanderbilt, No. 59 Binghamton, No. 40 Wisconsin, No. 44 UNLV, No. 45 New Mexico and No. 51 Fresno State. The Huskers also played 14 teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
The Gators are ranked 8th nationally and enter the tournament with an overall 18-8 record while going 7-4 in SEC play while winning the SEC tournament this past weekend. South Carolina State earned their bid by winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and thus automatically qualified.
The winners of the first round matches will face off in the second round on either Saturday, May 14, or Sunday, May 15, to see who advances to the NCAA Sweet 16 in Stanford, Calif., at the Taube Tennis Center. Check back to Huskers.com for updated times and dates.