March 18, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The men’s tennis team returns from a 10-day hiatus to take part in the 2009 Blue Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. In the first round, Notre Dame will face Mississippi State at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 19. The winner of that match will progress to face the winner of the Boise State-Oklahoma match on Friday, March 20 at 1:30 p.m.
The Irish hold an all-time record of 4-1 versus Mississippi State, with all five games coming under head coach Bobby Bayliss. The teams first met in 1991 at the Blue Gray Classic, with Notre Dame earning a 5-2 win on that day. Most recently, Mississippi State downed the Irish at the 2004 Blue Gray National Classic, 4-3. The Bulldogs carry a 5-5 record into this year’s tournament, including wins over St. Mary’s, UAB, Memphis, Georgia State and Auburn.
2009 marks the 60th year of the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic and the Irish have taken part in the classic in every year since the 1991 season. All-time, Notre Dame holds a 39-22 record at the event and the Irish are three-time champions, having won the tournament in 1993, 2001 and 2007. In addition, they have earned runner-up status in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2006.
This 2009 Blue Gray National Tennis Classic includes 16 teams, all ranked inside the top-75 of the men’s Division I ITA rankings. The field (ITA Rank in parentheses): Alabama (24), Auburn (30), Boise State (22), Fresno State (43), Hawaii (75), Middle Tennessee State (56), Mississippi State (48), Notre Dame (26), Oklahoma (41), Oklahoma State (25), Penn State (55), Tennessee (4), Texas Tech (33), VCU (54), Wisconsin (29) and William & Mary (61).
Live scoring of the Blue Gray National Classic Invitational will be available through the Blue Gray’s official website: www.bluegraytennis.com, while daily recaps will be posted on und.com.