MUNCIE, Ind.. – The Ball State men's tennis team, which earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships by winning the Mid-American Conference Tournament title, will play a first-round match at Illinois.
The Cardinals earned their eighth automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament under the direction of head coach Bill Richards with a 4-3 win Saturday over Buffalo in the MAC championship match. The Cardinals will face the 12th-ranked Fighting Illini in Champaign, Ill., May 9 at 5 p.m. (EST).
The Cardinals will take a 14-10 overall mark to Champaign, while Illinois enters the match with a 23-7 record. The Fighting Illini made it to the round of 16 at the 2013 NCAA Tournament, losing to No. 1 USC, 4-0.
Richards is in his 42nd season at the helm of the Cardinals, having led the program to 22 MAC titles, including 17 undefeated MAC seasons. Ball State has participated in the MAC for the last 33 years, claiming 38 regular season and or tournament championships. Since the MAC tournament format started in 1997, the Cardinals have won it seven times (1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2011 and 2014).
The championships will begin with regional action on campus sites May 9-11 with the round of 16 beginning May 16 in Athens, Ga.
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