The College of Charleston women’s tennis team will make its fourth all-time postseason appearance as the 64-team field and 16 first-and second-round sites for the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships.
The Cougars (21-7) will face No. 13-seeded and host Tennessee (19-7) in the first round to be played on Saturday, May 14, at Dr. Robert L. Barksdale Tennis Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. First serve against the Lady Vols is set for noon (ET). The winner will take on either Vanderbilt (15-8) or Winthrop (17-11) in the second round on Sunday, May 15, at noon (ET).
“We’ve worked so hard and are thrilled to be back in the NCAA Tournament,” said three-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year and College of Charleston Director of Tennis Angelo Anastopoulo. “We had a bit of tough spring break with some tough matches, but our team learned a lot from those and knocked off 14 wins in a row in order to win the Southern Conference championship and earn the automatic bid.
The winner of each four-team tournament site will advance to the NCAA Round of 16 hosted by Stanford on May 20-24 at the Taube Family Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif.
“It’s such an honor and we are really happy to have this opportunity to represent the College of Charleston and represent the Southern Conference,” said two-time All-SoCon Second Team selection Caroline Newman of Greensboro, N.C., who turned in back-to-back seasons with an undefeated 10-0 league mark in singles. “We are excited we were chosen to play Tennessee. We feel it’s a winnable match. We are ready to get on the court and work really hard in preparation for next week’s match.”
The teams will play a single-elimination tournament at 16 first-and second-round sites (four teams at each site) and the final site (16-team bracket) to determine the national champion. The matches shall be regulation dual matches with three (3) eight-game, pro-set doubles played for one team point, followed by six (6) singles matches, each valued at one team point, played best of three sets. Regular scoring will be used and a 12-point tiebreaker will be played at eight games all in doubles and at six games all in singles.
College of Charleston was one of 31 automatic qualifiers having won the Southern Conference regular-season and tournament titles three years in a row. The Cougars made their three previous NCAA Tournament appearances in 2003, 2009 and 2010.
“We will do our best to represent the Southern Conference as best as we can,” Anastopoulo said. “We are thankful we are part of a great conference which has really prepared us for this moment. Those tough competitions, especially in the conference tournament, prepared us to go up there and give Tennessee everything they can handle.”