WOMEN'S TENNIS DRAWS USC IN FIRST ROUND OF NCAA TOURNAMENT
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Sacramento State women’s tennis team will make its ninth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, it was announced by the NCAA selection committee today.
The Hornets (19-6), who earned an automatic berth into the tournament by virtue of winning the Big Sky Conference title for the ninth straight season, will travel to Berkeley, Calif., to face the USC Women of Troy on Friday, May 14th, at 10 a.m. The Women of Troy are currently ranked 20th in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
The two teams are meeting in the NCAA Tournament for the second time, with USC taking home a 4-0 victory over the Hornets in the first round of the 2003 tournament.
The other first-round matchup features No. 12 California against Southern University on Friday. The winner of the two matches will play each other in the second round on Saturday, May 15 at a time to be determined
USC enters the NCAA Tournament with a 13-9 overall record but has faced one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Among its nine losses, eight have come against teams ranked in the top 12, including defeats against No. 1 Duke, No. 3 California, No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 Baylor. Individually, Maria Sanchez in ranked third in the latest singles poll with a 17-3 record at No. 1.
Sacramento State, which is currently ranked 55th in the nation, defeated Northern Arizona, 4-0, in Big Sky Tournament championship match on April 25. The Hornets have won 10 of their last 11 matches with the only loss coming to No. 55 Arizona, 4-3. Sacramento State is 4-6 against ranked opposition this year (the ITA ranks the top 75 teams) with every match coming on the road.
The Hornets have dominated the Big Sky Conference over the last nine years, winning 72 straight matches against league opposition during that span. However, Sacramento State continues to face some of the nation’s toughest competition in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Other NCAA first-round matchups for the Hornets have included Stanford (2002, 2007), USC (2003), Fresno State (2004, 2006), BYU (2005), Arizona State (2008), and Michigan (2009). All but two of those matches came against the team that hosted the regional (the match against Fresno State in 2004 and the 2008 matchup with Arizona State being the exceptions).