COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Texas A&M women's tennis team received an at-large bid to the 64-team NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship and open the tournament against the No. 41 Rice Owls at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 4 at the Texas Tennis Center in Austin, the NCAA announced Monday evening.
The winner between Texas A&M (22-7) and Rice (16-7) will face the winner between host and No. 9 seed Texas (18-4) and Long Island (14-7) in second-round action at noon on Sunday, May 5, also at the Texas Tennis Center. The second-round winner advances to the Round of 16 scheduled to take place at No. 8 seed Vanderbilt.
The Aggies (22-7) are making their 20th consecutive and 25th overall appearance in the tournament. Last year, 30th-ranked Texas A&M was sent to Austin, where the Aggies defeated Rice, 4-3, in the first round before falling to No. 6 Texas, 4-0, in the second round.
A&M's best finish in program history was runner-up at the 2013 NCAA Championship, where the Aggies fell to Stanford, 4-3, in the championship match at Urbana, Illinois.
Rice received an automatic bid after winning the Conference-USA tournament championship and is making its eighth consecutive and 12th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Last year the Texas A&M eliminated the Owls from the NCAA tournament, 4-3, in the first round in Austin.
Long Island received and automatic bid after winning the Northeast Conference tournament championship for the third straight season. The Blackbirds also won the NEC regular-season title after completing a 5-0 conference season.
Texas went undefeated in the Big 12 Conference regular season before falling in the Big 12 Tournament final to No. 20 Kansas, 4-2, in Lawrence. The Longhorns are making their fourth consecutive and 36th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
A&M holds a 27-10 lead in the all-time series against the Owls.
A&M has won four of the last six meetings against Texas, all under previous head coach Howard Joffe, who was hired as the head coach of the Longhorns following the 2015 season. Texas leads the all-time series, 44-10, including 15-2 in matches played in Austin.
A&M and Long Island have never met.
Texas A&M is one of nine teams representing the Southeastern Conference in the tournament field. Georgia is the No. 1 seed and South Carolina and Vanderbilt are the Nos. 4 and 8 seeds, respectively. Alabama, Florida, LSU, Kentucky and Tennessee also made the tournament field.
The Aggies earned fifth place in the SEC regular-season standings with an 8-5 record. A&M returns to action after falling to top-ranked Georgia, 4-0, in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament on April 20 in College Station.
Texas A&M Head Coach Mark Weaver Quotes
On the first and second rounds draw…
"I am excited for the draw. We always take our guesses on what it will be and it turned out exactly like we thought it would be. We have a tough first match against Rice and we are not looking past that. Playing a team from down the road is exciting, Rice is a very good team after winning their conference. Every time we play them it is a battle. The team is excited and we have had a great year and have a lot of positive momentum going into the tournament."
On the teams play headed into the NCAA Tournament…
"We are coming off a great SEC Tournament, getting a couple of quality wins. Having beat Tennessee we were able to get a little bit of revenge against them after a taking a tough loss in Knoxville in the regular season. We played a great match against No. 1 Georgia in the semifinals. We played really good tennis throughout the season and only had a couple matches that we would have really liked to have back, but besides that we have had a great season and have really improved throughout the year. I think we are primed to have a great run at the NCAA Tournament."
NCAA FIRST AND SECOND ROUNDS
(Texas Tennis Center, Austin, Texas)
Saturday, May 4
No. 18 Texas A&M (22-7) vs. No. 41 Rice (16-7), 9 a.m.
No. 8 Texas (18-4) vs. Long Island (14-7), 12 p.m.
Sunday, May 5
Texas A&M/Rice winner vs. Texas/Long Island winner, noon
TEXAS A&M TOURNAMENT FACTS:
Team Appearances....... 25 (1986, '89, '96, '97, '98, 2000, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17, '18, ‘19)
All-Time Team Record.. 25-24
Best Finish...................... Finals (2013)
Highest Seed.................. 3 (2013)
· Texas A&M is making its 25th overall and its 20th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship.
· A&M reached the finals of the 2013 NCAA Championship, marking the best finish in school history.
· Last year, 30th-ranked Texas A&M was sent to Austin, where the Aggies defeated Rice, 4-3, in the first round before falling to No. 6 Texas, 4-0, in the second round.
· A&M is one of 9 teams representing the SEC in the NCAA Championship. Other SEC teams, with seeds in parentheses, are Georgia (1), South Carolina (4), Vanderbilt (8), Alabama, Florida, LSU, Kentucky and Tennessee.
· Stanford is the defending national champion.
· Georgia is this year's No. 1 seed.
· Texas A&M is 5-6 against the 2019 tournament field, with wins coming against Vanderbilt, LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.
· Texas A&M went 8-5 in the SEC regular season, earning fifth place.
· The NCAA Individual Championship participants (singles and doubles) will be posted at NCAA.com, Tuesday, April 30.
Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M women's tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women's tennis team by following @AggieWTEN on Twitter and Instagram, as well as on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieWTEN.