Brad Dancer's Illini will compete against Pepperdine on March 14 as part of the College Match Day series
Feb. 17, 2014
URBANA, Ill. - The United States Tennis Association in conjunction with ESPN announced earlier this month that the Illinois men's tennis team was chosen to be part of the 2014 College Match Day series. Thus, the Illini's March 14 contest vs. Pepperdine will be streamed live on ESPN3, and those who come out to the Atkins Tennis Center will be able to enjoy the 53-foot interactive Fan Experience trailer that will be on site.
"It's clearly an honor to be chosen for a CMD site," said Illinois head coach Brad Dancer. "It is a tribute to Net Nut Nation and the tremendous community support our student-athletes receive. Now, we know just how good Pepperdine is as we were fortunate to catch them after a late night arrival at indoors - it will be a tremendous atmosphere and an incredible match for our fans. In addition, with the format we are playing, if it is tied after singles, it will be the most intense and exciting 10 minutes of doubles anyone has seen."
First developed in 2013, College MatchDay is a weekly series that highlights marquee team matches and features the best programs, players and coaches from around the country. Twenty-two matches on 18 different campuses will be showcased in 2014, 11 of which were chosen to be delivered by ESPN3. In addition, the Illini were one of eight schools to be chosen for the Fan Experience trailer as well.
"College tennis is such an amazing and exciting competition, and College MatchDay is a way to shine a light on schools, teams, players and coaches," said Virgil Christian, the USTA's Director of Collegiate Tennis. "We hope that College MatchDay can change the landscape of viewing college tennis, both in person and at home."
Every match on ESPN3 will follow a unique, experimental format, as proposed by an advisory group of NCAA Division I athletic directors, in which all six singles matches will be played first, with a best-of-three tiebreak sets format.
Each singles match will be worth one point toward the team total, with four points required to win the team match. Once one team reaches four points and clinches the match, the remaining matches will not be completed. In the case of a 3-3 tie after the singles matches, three doubles matches - played using 10-point super tiebreaks - will be used to determine the winner in what amounts to college tennis' version of "overtime." The team that wins two of the three doubles matches wins the team match.