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STANFORD, Calif. — The No. 1 Virginia men’s tennis team opens play at the 2011 NCAA Championships on Thursday as action begins at the Taube Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (31-0) will play Illinois in a round of 16 match beginning at 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT). Live scoring and streaming video is available here.

It will be the third meeting of the season between the teams. Virginia defeated Illinois 7-0 in a regular season match on Jan. 21 at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The Cavaliers also topped the Fighting Illini 4-1 on Feb. 19 in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle.

This year marks the eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA round of 16 for Virginia as only UCLA and Baylor have longer streaks. Virginia has reached the quarterfinals in each of the past six seasons and advanced to the semifinals in 2007, 2008 and 2010. In five of the past six seasons, the Cavaliers have lost to the eventual NCAA Champion.

The winner of the Virginia-Illinois match will play the winner of the Stanford-Texas A&M match in the quarterfinals. That match would be on Saturday at 4 p.m. PDT (7 p.m. EDT).

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