Men's Tennis takes on Illinois

The University of Kentucky will makes its 17th appearance in the USTA/ITA Men's National Team Indoor Championships Thursday when the 13th-ranked Cats take on third-ranked Illinois, the tournament host. The 12th-seeded Cats and fifth-seeded Illinois will do battle at 7 p.m. EST at the Mid-Town Tennis Club in Chicago.

Kentucky has played host to the event on 17 occasions in Louisville, most recently in 2003. UK owns a 24-28 record in the tournament after defeating Boise State and falling to UCLA and Harvard at the 2004 tournament in Seattle. UK recorded semifinal finishes in 1989, 1994 and 1997.

The Cats and Illini last met on Apr. 7, 2004 in Lexington when Illinois brought its 50-match win streak to the Boone Tennis Center. UK nearly ended the Illini's streak, but Michael Calkins outlasted UK's Evan Austin in three sets to extend Illinois' win streak to 51 matches. Kentucky and Illinois are slated to meet again on Apr. 6 at Illinois' Atkins Tennis Center.

The first singles slot may feature a rematch between Kentucky's third-ranked Jesse Witten and Illinois' second-ranked Ryler Deheart. Witten suffered a straight-set defeat to Deheart in the finals of November's ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.

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