URBANA (WCIA) — The Illinois men’s and women’s tennis programs are both back in the NCAA tournament. After not qualifying for the tournament last year for the first time since 1995, the men are in once again and heading to Boston. The women heard their name called on the selection show for the first time since 2019 and will head to Georgia, with both teams watching their respective selection shows at Atkins Indoor Monday afternoon.
The Illini women will face Florida State on Friday in the opening round, with No. 4 overall seed Georgia playing host. The Bulldogs will face Florida A&M, with the two winners meeting on Saturday.
“We’ve got a great body of work and we’re really excited about being back in the NCAA tournament but we feel like we’ve got our best tennis ahead of us as well,” Illinois head coach Evan Clark said.
“We’ve just got to go in with confidence,” Illinois sophomore Megan Heuser said. “We’ve got to come in every day and know there’s work to be done. We’re due for a good win and so I’m really excited to go down to Georgia and see what the future holds for us.”
The Illini men will square off against Arizona State on Saturday, with the winner to either face No. 11 Harvard, the host school, or Siena in the second round on Sunday.
“Our first event of the year was Arizona State, so we know a number of their players,” Illinois head coach Brad Dancer said. “And they’ve got some new guys that were kinda getting their feet wet at the beginning of the season and they’re playing well now. Big challenge for us.”
“ASU, it’s a really tough school to play in the first round,” Illinois freshman Kenta Miyoshi said. “They have really good players, talented, it’s gonna be tough. It’s gonna be a real battle.”