April 29, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee women's tennis team will head back to Chapel Hill, N.C. for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament on May 9-10, as announced by the NCAA Tuesday night.
The Lady Vols are making their 20th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament dating back to 1995 and 24th overall NCAA showing.
Tennessee (13-12) will face Georgia State (12-8) on Friday, May 9, while seventh-seeded and host team North Carolina, will play VCU in the first round.
The winners of those matches will square off on May 10 for a chance to advance to the Round of 16, which takes place in Athens, Ga. The championship site hosts the final four rounds from May 15-20.
"There has been anxiety all year," said Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick, "and we are going to have five freshmen and one junior playing in NCAAs. Getting in was a great thing and I am excited that they did get in; it will give us a lot of experience. We will go out there and play hard and see what we can do."
"It was a nervous but exciting experience," said junior Joanna Henderson. "It has been an up and down season and we weren't really sure what to expect but I think when our name got called it was just a lot of relief and happiness."
This will be the first time that the Lady Vols and Panthers have faced off against each other. The Panthers enter the match on a three match win-streak after capturing the school's first ever Sun Belt Conference Championship. They will make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009.
"This is such a good group, they work hard every day. I really can't ask much more from them. It is asking a lot for five freshmen to go out there and make the NCAA Tournament and they did."
"We went to North Carolina and we had a close match with them. With this format it is you win you keep going, you lose and you're out. So you just have to go out there ready to play."
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRACKET
The winner of the match will face the winner of the North Carolina (24-5)/VCU (12-9) meeting.
The series between the Lady Vols and North Carolina is tied at 14-14 after the Tar Heels defeated UT 4-1 last season in the Round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament.
The two teams have now met twice in the NCAA Tournament, a 2004 meeting in Chapel Hill resulting in a 4-3 victory for the Lady Vols and last season's UNC win.
Tennessee and VCU have met in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the last two seasons, both 4-0 wins for the Lady Vols. UT holds a 3-0 all-time series lead, with all of the meetings coming in the NCAA postseason.
INDIVIDUAL NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES
The NCAA Individual Championship selection will be announced on Wednesday, April 30 at 6 p.m.
FORMER LADY VOLS IN THE TOURNAMENT
Schaub, the head coach at Ohio State, and the Buckeyes will also be in the Research Triangle for the first weekend of NCAA Action when they head to Duke to face off against South Carolina. The Tennessee men's team is also at Duke. Ojeda, an assistant coach at Baylor, will host the first and second rounds as the 14 seed where they will face Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Szekely and DePaul won the school's first ever Big East Tournament this season and will stay in Chicago for the NCAA Tournament when they head to Northwestern's campus to face Notre Dame.