After winning its second-straight NCAC Women’s Tennis championship, the Kenyon Ladies booked their ticket to compete in the 49-team 2018 NCAA Division Women’s Tennis Championships, which is set to begin with first-third round matchups this weekend, May 10-12.
Kenyon, which enters the NCAA Tournament as the 22nd-ranked team in the ITA National Poll, we be competing in the national tournament for the second year in a row and the 20th time in program history. KC owns three NCAA Div. III Women’s Tennis national titles in 1993, 1995 and 1997, while their 2017 appearance resulted in an exit after the second round with a 5-3 loss against Gustavus Adolphus.
The teams will play a single-elimination tournament with the first, second- and third- rounds played at regional sites, Thursday-Saturday, May 10-12. Claremont McKenna-Harvey Mudd Scripps Colleges will host the team championships finals, which will be held May 21-23 at Biszantz Tennis Center in Claremont, California. Student-athletes selected to the individual championships will be announced Wednesday, May 9th.
Kenyon will play in one of two opening-round matches on Thursday at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, against Wheaton (IL) (16-3), while the other opening-round match in Pittsburgh on Thursday features John Carroll (18-6) and Hope College (13-8). The Kenyon/Wheaton winner will meet host and ninth-ranked Carnegie Mellon (19-4) in the second round on Friday, while the JCU and Hope winner will meet Wesleyan (12-3) on the same day. Both of Friday’s winners will meet on Saturday with a trip to the national quarterfinal round on the line.
The Kenyon and Wheaton women’s tennis teams are familiar with one another as they met just two months ago, with the Ladies chalking up an 8-1 victory over the Thunder in a spring-break match at Lake Nona, Florida.
The championships provide for a 49-team tournament. Automatic qualification (AQ) is granted to 40 conference champions, which form “Pool A.” One team will be selected from true independents and schools from conferences that do not have an automatic bid for their champions (Pool B). The remaining 8 teams are selected from those teams in conferences with automatic bids that did not win their conference’s AQ and the remaining Pool B institutions (Pool C). The teams are geographically paired, whenever possible.
Williams is the defending national champion, having defeated Emory, 5-4, to claim the team title.