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Kentucky men's tennis team prepares to host NCAA regional

The University of Kentucky men's tennis team will make its 22nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament when it hosts the first and second rounds, Friday and Saturday, at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.

UK (26-8), in the tournament for the 17th time in 18 years, is seeded 10th in the 64-team field.

Play starts Friday with Ivy League champion Cornell (24-6) facing Big East winner Louisville (17-11) at noon.

UK, the Southeastern Conference Tournament runner-up, will take on Horizon League champion Cleveland State (16-7) at 3 p.m.

This will be the third consecutive season UK has met the Vikings in the first round. The Wildcats won each of the last two years, as well as a 6-1 regular-season match in Lexington earlier this campaign.

"I think this is a great region and it is going to be very competitive," UK Coach Dennis Emery said. "It is kind of unique that three of the four teams in the region won their conference tournaments. I think that shows how good this region is."

Friday's winners will meet Saturday at 3 p.m.

The second-round winner will advance to Stanford, Calif., where the round of 16 will be played May 19-24.

UK is 16-3 at home this season, all three losses coming to teams ranked among the top 10 in the nation.

UK's Eric Quigley is No. 6 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles rankings. The junior from Pewee Valley is 21-7 in the No. 1 singles position and 43-11 overall. He is a two-time All-SEC first-team selection.

Fellow junior Alex Musialek and senior Alberto Gonzalez are All-SEC second-team selections. Musialek is ranked No. 53 nationally, while Gonzalez is No. 90.

In doubles, Quigley and senior Brad Cox are ranked 19th. They have taken down three top-15 foes in their last seven matches.

This weekend marks the eighth time since 2000 that UK has been a host site for the first two rounds, and second in a row. Last year, the Wildcats beat Cleveland State and Georgia Tech to advance to the round of 16 for the first time since 2002.

All of UK's NCAA berths have come under Emery, in his 29th season as coach. Among active coaches, he ranks second in NCAA appearances.