COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The Texas A&M women’s tennis team earned its 13th consecutive and 18th overall bid to the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship and will face future Southeastern Conference foe LSU in the first round Friday, May 11 at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. Central) at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The winner advances to the second round to face the winner between host and No. 15-seed Michigan and Illinois-Chicago on Saturday at 1 p.m. (noon Central) in Ann Arbor. The second-round winner advances to the 16-team NCAA Championship to be played at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., May 17-22.
The 19th-ranked Aggies, who defeated the Tigers, 5-2, in Baton Rouge, La., in the third match of the season, are 18-5 and have won five of their last six matches. A&M upset No. 12 Baylor to reach the finals of the Big 12 Championship for the first time since 2004 but fell to 13th-ranked Texas, 4-2, in the finals.
LSU is 11-12 after falling to Arkansas in the first round of the SEC Tournament.
“There is no question that we are a team that is playing well and with a fair amount of confidence, but all the matches come down to how well we perform on the day,” A&M first-year coach Howard Joffe said. “Obviously we’ve played at LSU, so we at least know their team a little bit. The match was fairly closely contested and we were able to win, but this is four months later so I expect it to be a very, very close and difficult match, which is usually the case in the NCAA tournament.”
Michigan, the Big Ten Conference regular season champion, is 17-6 after losing to Purdue, 4-3, in the championship match of the Big Ten Tournament. The Wolverines are making their 11th consecutive NCAA appearance and have advanced to the Round of 16 each of the last two years.
UIC is 18-3 and received an automatic bid after winning its 16th consecutive Horizon League regular season title. The flames are making their 14th consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
NCAA FIRST AND SECOND ROUNDS
(Varsity Tennis Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Friday, May 11
No. 19 Texas A&M (18-5) vs. No. 45 LSU (11-12), 10 a.m.
No. 15 Michigan (17-6) vs. Illinois-Chicago (18-3), 1 p.m.
Saturday, May 12
No. 15 Michigan/Illinois-Chicago winner vs. No. 19 Texas A&M/No. 45 LSU winner, 1 p.m.
Notes: A&M is 6-5 against the 64-team tournament field this season…In last year’s NCAA tournament, A&M suffered a 4-3 first-round loss to SMU in College Station. It was the Aggies’ third consecutive first-round loss after posting a streak of six consecutive appearances in at least the second round of the tournament…A&M, 11-17 all-time in NCAA tournament play, had it best postseason finish in 2004 after advancing to the Round of 16…A&M is 22-10 in the all-time series against LSU but 0-1 against the Tigers in NCAA tournament play. The two teams met in the second round of the 1997 tournament with LSU winning 5-0 at Rice in Houston…Michigan was slated to play the Aggies earlier this season in College Station, but the match was cancelled due rain…A&M is 1-2 all-time against Michigan and has never faced UIC…UCLA this year’s No. 1 seed, and defending national champion Florida is the No. 2 seed…The NCAA Individual Championship participants (singles and doubles) will be posted at NCAA.com, Wednesday, May 2 no later than 5 p.m.