After winning its first NCAC Women’s Tennis championship since 2001, the Kenyon Ladies booked their ticket to compete in the 49-team 2017 NCAA Division Women’s Tennis Championship, which is set to begin with first-third round matchups this weekend, May 12-14.
Kenyon, which is entering the NCAA Tournament on a six-match winning streak, will be competing in the national tournament for the 19th time in program history, but this will be the Ladies first appearance since the 2008 season. KC owns three NCAA Div. III Women’s Tennis national titles in 1993, 1995 and 1997, while their 2008 appearance resulted in an exit after the second round with a 5-0 loss against now NCAC foe DePauw.
The teams will play a single-elimination tournament with the first-, second- and third-rounds played at regional sites, Friday-Sunday, May 12-14, or Thursday-Saturday, May 11-13. University of the South and the Chattanooga Sports Commission will host the team championships finals, which will be held May 22-27 at The Champions Tennis Club in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Student-athletes selected to the individual championships will be announced Wednesday, May 10.
Kenyon (12-9) will play in one of three opening-round matches on Friday at The University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, against Franciscan (13-4), while the other opening round match in KC’s section of the bracket features Gustavus Adolphus (19-7) and St. Norbert (23-11). In the other opening round match at the Stagg Field Courts in Chicago, Augustana (24-6) will battle Coe (18-9) with a chance to meet host Chicago (16-4) in the second round on Saturday. Saturday’s winners will then meet on Sunday with a trip to the national quarterfinal round on the line.
The championships provide for a 49-team tournament. Automatic qualification (AQ) is granted to 38 conference champions, which form “Pool A.” Two teams were selected from true independents and schools from conferences that do not have an automatic bid for their champions (Pool B). The remaining nine 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.
Emory is the defending national champion, having defeated Williams, 5-1, to claim the team title last spring.