Broncos face No. 1 Illinois in NCAA Championships
May 6, 2004
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's men's tennis team, with a record of 19-6 and ranked 60th in the nation, will travel to No. 1-ranked University of Illinois, 28-0, for the opening round of the 2004 NCAA Championships.
The Broncos, who claimed the Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament titles in 2004, will face Illinois either May 14 or 15 at a time to be determined. The winner will advance to play either Louisville or Arizona State in the second round.
WMU is 2-8-0 all-time versus Illinois, having last met during the 2000-01 campaign. Illinois claimed a 6-0 victory in that match up.
Illinois is the defending national champion, and swept the singles, doubles and team titles last season. The Fighting Illini currently own an NCAA record dual-match winning streak of 60, dating back to the beginning of the 2003 campaign.
"We are excited about the opportunity to face one of the top programs in the nation,"WMU coach David Morin said. "That's what the postseason is all about. Hopefully, we can start with some individual wins that will translate into team success."
The Broncos are making their third NCAA Championships appearance of the past six years. WMU fell to top seeded UCLA in 1999 in the program's first-ever invitation to the event. Two years later, the Broncos fell to Pepperdine in the opening round at a regional hosted by Indiana State.
The WMU roster features MAC Player of the Year Ravi Pathanjali, who is just two wins away from tying the school's all-time mark of 213. Pathanjali was joined on the All-MAC First Team squad by teammate Tommy Dennis. Freshman Brady Crosby, who claimed the MAC Newcomer of the Year award, was tabbed for the second team, along with sophomore Jose Orozco.
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