Tennis Earns NCAA Tournament Bid; Plays Michigan in 1st Round
BOULDER - For the second time in their history of the NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament, the University of Colorado tennis team has earned a bid to the 64-team field, announced Tuesday.
The No. 37 nationally ranked Buffaloes will play the No. 23 Michigan Wolverines in the first round on Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m. (MST) at South Bend, Ind. The CU/UM winner will play either No. 7 ranked Notre Dame (25-3) or Illinois-Chicago (15-6) on May 13 at 10 a.m. (MST).
Of the 16 seeded teams in the tournament, the Fighting Irish are No. 6.
Colorado is 16-7 on the season and finished the Big 12 Conference tied for third with a 9-2 mark. Both overall and conference records are school-bests since the 1999 season. The Buffaloes were seeded No. 4 at weekend's conference tournament, falling in the quarterfinals to No. 5 Oklahoma State.
The Wolverines are the Big Ten Conference runner-up falling in the finals to top-seeded Northwestern. Michigan also brings a 16-7 record in the first round of the tournament and during the spring season finished third in the conference standings with an 8-2 record.
It's the second NCAA Tournament appearance for head coach Nicole Kenneally and the Buffaloes, who earned a 2003 tournament berth, also against Michigan. The Wolverines defeated CU, 4-0 in the first round at Palo Alto, Calif.
Michigan leads the head-to-head series holding 2-0 advantage.
"I thought we were in the now, based on the success we've had this year with two top-15 victories," said Kenneally, when asked if there was doubt after last week's early exit from the conference tournament.
Earlier in the day, Kenneally was named Big 12 Women's Coach of the Year for the first time in her eight years at CU.
"Michigan is very good team. I look forward to going against them again; it will be a good match."
The Buffs have 11 days to prepare for the Wolverines, their longest absence of the spring since 10 days in-between matches from March 28 through April 6.
"The next 10 days will be really important in regards to practice and getting time-in on the court while taking final exams," said Kenneally. "A lot of other schools around the country are dealing with the same thing, it's just one of those things you have to deal with. I think we're in a good place. Yes, we're in the tournament, but let's not be satisfied with that; let's go win in the tournament. I think that's the next big step for this program."
NCAA Tournament Notes
- The Division I Women's Tennis Championships is a 64-team, single-elimination tournament with first- and second round competition conducted May 11-13 at 16 different sites (four teams per site) for each championship. There are 31 automatic bids with 34 at-large selections.
- The 16 first- and second-round winners advance to the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, to compete in the Round of 16.
- The women's team championship competition will begin with the Round of 16, Friday, May 18, and continue with the quarterfinals (Sunday, May 20), semifinals (Monday, May 21) and the national championship (Tuesday, May 22.)
- The women's singles and doubles championships consists of a bracket of 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams per gender participating in the single-elimination tournaments at the site for the team championship. The first round of the singles bracket will be played Wednesday, May 23, with the doubles set to begin Thursday, May 24. Both the singles and doubles championship finals will be contested Monday, May 28.
NCAA Women's Tennis Championships
First Round May 11 and 12
Site: Palo Alto, Calif.
*(1) Stanford (20-1) vs. Sacramento State (17-6)
Brigham Young (21-6) vs. Oregon (12-11)
* (16) Vanderbilt (17-8) vs. Murray State (16-5)
Tennessee (13-10) vs. Tulsa (20-4)
Los Angeles, Calif.
* (8) Southern California (17-4) vs. Boston University (13-5)
Texas (15-9) vs. UC Irvine (20-4)
* (9) Miami (Fla.) (19-6) vs. Alabama A&M (16-3)
South Carolina (16-6) vs. Wichita State (25-2)
* (4) Florida (21-2) vs. Jacksonville (19-3)
Florida International (19-4) vs. South Florida (15-7)
* (13) Baylor (22-6) vs. Oral Roberts (12-8)
Texas A&M (20-6) vs. TCU (17-10)
* (5) Northwestern (21-4) vs. Western Michigan (22-6)
Indiana (20-6) vs. Boise State (17-4)
Los Angeles, Calif.
* (12) UCLA (16-7) vs. Quinnipiac (11-6)
Florida State (15-7) vs. San Diego State (14-11)
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Louisiana State (16-9) vs. Duke (11-10)
Marist (12-1) vs. * (11) North Carolina (21-8)
South Bend, Ind.
Colorado (16-7) vs. Michigan (16-7)
Illinois-Chicago (15-6) vs. * (6) Notre Dame (25-3)
Long Beach State (17-8) vs. Pepperdine (19-9)
Army (13-10) vs. * (14) Fresno State (20-3)
Arizona (9-13) vs. Kentucky (18-7)
Furman (16-9) vs. * (3) Georgia Tech (23-4)
UNLV (19-7) vs. Arizona State (12-9)
Southeastern La. (20-2) vs. * (10) California (19-6)
Virginia (11-11) vs. Virginia Commonwealth (21-8)
Coastal Carolina (19-5) vs. * (7) Clemson (20-4)
Penn (17-4) vs. Wake Forest (14-7)
Richmond (9-7) vs. * (15) William & Mary (20-2)
North Carolina St. (13-10) vs. Auburn (13-9)
South Carolina St. (21-5) vs. * (2) Georgia (21-1)