Tuesday evening, the NCAA held its annual women’s tennis championship selection show to announce the 64-team tournament field. There are 31 automatic qualifying teams that won their respective conference tournaments in addition to 33 teams that received at-large bids.
The top 16 teams host the first two rounds and the winner of each four-team pod advances to Urbana, Ill. to play in the Sweet Sixteen. The championship match will be played on May 21.
The No. 38 IU (18-9) women’s tennis team qualified as an at-large team and is scheduled to face No. 18 Vanderbilt (15-11), who defeated the Hoosiers 4-0 in IU’s last NCAA Championship appearance in 2010, in the first round. Thirteenth-seeded Clemson (14-7), who is ranked No. 11 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, is the host school of IU’s pod and will face Eastern Kentucky (19-6) in the first round. The first round of the tournament is scheduled to start on May 10, with second round play slated for May 11-12.
“We know Vanderbilt was almost a No. 1 seed, so we drew one of the best No. 2 seeds in the field,” IU Coach Lin Loring said. “That being said, we beat Duke earlier this season when they were No. 2 and later Michigan, who was ranked as high as No. 6. We are probably the three seed that no one wanted in their regional.”
This is the 28th time that Loring has been at the helm of a tournament bound IU squad. Seniors Leslie Hureau and Jithmie Jayawickrema are the only IU players with tournament experience. Hureau was a freshman when Vanderbilt defeated Indiana in 2010 and she advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championship in 2011.
Jayawickrema played in last year’s NCAA Championship when she attended Stephen F. Austin State University. No. 25 Tulsa defeated No. 46 Stephen F. Austin 4-0 in the first round.
“The team is very excited,” Loring added. “No one on this team has ever been to Clemson. We have never gone more than two years in a row without a trip to the NCAAs, so this was really important for our program to go this year.”
Click here to view an interactive 2013 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship bracket.
Click here to read this post on the Indiana Daily Student’s Hoosier Hype blog.