Feb. 6, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The draw for the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I National Women's Team Indoor Championship was released Wednesday, and it pits the No. 15 Vanderbilt Commodores against No. 3 North Carolina. The four-day championship is in its 27th season and begins Friday, at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.
"We were able to win really difficult ITA Kick-off regional with three top 20 teams," said head coach Geoff Macdonald. "Texas Tech and Georgia Tech are both really good and then we followed that up with a good win at Northwestern. I'm really pleased with this team. They're really hardworking and play with a lot of passion. They don't hold back, they lay it all on the line, which I really admire. I think we are in a good place going into Indoors."
Vanderbilt has qualified for National Team Indoors 12 times, and has amassed a record of 19-18 over those seasons. In the last two trips to National Indoors the Commodores are 0-6 and have opened up against the tournaments top seeded team (UCLA, '13; Stanford, '07).
"Last year we went with a really young team," said Macdonald. "No one on that team had been to Indoors and I think they learned a lot about what it takes to play at that high level."
The best finish for the Commodores was during the 2002 National Team Indoor Championship, when the `Dores picked off No. 2 Duke in the semifinal round, before falling to No. 5 Georgia in the tournament Championship.
Vanderbilt (3-0) earned its way to its second-straight National Team Indoor Championship by winning the Nebraska ITA Kick-off region. The Commodores were the only non-host school to punch a ticket to Indoors, and did it with wins against two top 20 teams.
VU first defeated No. 18 Texas Tech, 4-1, in the opening round of the Kick-off and then knocked off No. 19 Georgia Tech, 4-3 in the championship match.
Last weekend the Commodores went on the road and took down No. 16 Northwestern to head into indoors with a 3-0 record.
Vanderbilt will open the National Team Indoor Championship against second-seeded North Carolina. The Tar Heels are the Team Indoor defending champions, and feature four ranked singles players and three doubles teams.
UNC (4-1) is led by their two freshmen Jamie Loeb and Hayley Carter. Loeb is 24-1 this season, winning both the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships and the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships and is currently the 2nd-ranked singles player by the ITA. She is doubles partners with Carter, who is 23-5 in singles play and ranked No. 5 by the ITA. The duo is 14-3 in doubles and ranked No. 12.
The 15th-ranked Commodores head to Charlottesville with four ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams. No. 48 Georgina Sellyn, the `Dores highest ranked player, is 2-1 in dual play for with overall record of 18-5. It was Sellyn's win at No. 3 against Georgia Tech that clinched the match and the trip to Indoors.
Despite not being ranked its been Frances Altick and Marie Casares getting it done at the bottom of the lineup for the `Dores. The two have combined to win 12-straight matches and are 5-0 in dual play this season.
With an upset win over the Tar Heels, Vanderbilt would face either No. 10 Duke or No. 11 Michigan. Win or loss in the first round, the Commodores are guaranteed at least three matches this weekend, all against top 15 opponents.