Four C-USA Tennis Programs Advance to NCAAs
May 1, 2012
IRVING, Texas - Four Conference USA tennis programs have advanced to the NCAA Championships starting May 11. Both Tulsa programs earned the league's automatic bid to the national tournament, while Rice women and Memphis men were at-large selections.
Tulsa (22-3), Conference USA champion, will face No. 46 Stephen F. Austin (23-4) at Hurd Tennis Center in Waco, Texas, as part of the Baylor Regional. This will be the third time in the last five years (2008, 2010) TU will play in the Lady Bears' Regional.
The 25th-ranked Golden Hurricane carry a 12-match win streak into the first round, and the team will be making its eighth overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its sixth in a row.
Rice (16-8) will return to NCAA action for the first time since 2006 when they face Illinois (17-6) at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center/Galtney Courts. The Oxford Regional will be hosted by the University of Mississippi.
The Owls earned their first at-large bid since 1998 after finishing as the runner-up in the C-USA Championship to Tulsa. They earned the automatic bid in 2006 when they captured the conference crown and earned at-large selections in their other three years. This is their fifth overall berth in the NCAA team championships (2006, 1998, 1997 & 1996).
For the second-straight year, the 20th-ranked Tulsa men's tennis team will travel to Norman, Okla., to participate in the Oklahoma Regional. The Golden Hurricane (18-8) is set to face No. 36 Minnesota at Headington Family Tennis Center.
Tulsa is currently on an eight-match win streak, and the team has won 12 of its last 13 contests. TU will be making its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its seventh-straight trip to the national competition.
Memphis will be making its first appearance in the NCAA Championship. The 33rd-ranked Tigers (19-5) will face the 28th-ranked Baylor Bears (17-11) in Starkville, Miss., on the campus of Mississippi State. The other two teams in Memphis' four-team regional-site are Mississippi State (19-6) and Alcorn State (10-8).
All four matches are set to open on Friday, May 11. Start times will be announced later in the week.
The winner of each site advances to the NCAA Division I Tennis Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., hosted by the University of Georgia. The team championships will be held May 18-21.