April 28, 2009
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INDIANAPOLIS - For the 15th consecutive season the Vanderbilt women's tennis program will compete in the crown of all jewels, the NCAA Tournament. While advancing to the NCAA Tournament is a common staple year-in and year out on West End, Vanderbilt will test new waters this season as they travel to Illinois for regionals for the first time in the program's history. It marks the first time this decade that VU will play its first and second rounds away from Nashville.
The 19th-ranked Commodores (11-8) will head north to Urbana, Ill. to play the Fighting Illini in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships May 8-10. The winner of that match will advance to play the winner of Fresno State and Eastern Kentucky (22-5). Fresno State (22-5) is the top-ranked team in the region as the Bulldogs clinched the No. 16 overall seed. Illinois was chosen as the host site over the higher seeded Fresno State squad due to four other California school's hosting regionals.
"I am excited that we are getting to leave the SEC and play some new teams," head coach Geoff Macdonald said following the announcement of Vanderbilt's pairing. "Illinois is a tough opponent out of the Big Ten for us in the round of 64, but we are looking forward to the challenge. The past few years we have had to play a team from our conference in the round of 32 so this should be a new and exciting opportunity for us."
Vanderbilt was one of 11 teams from the Southeastern Conference selected to this year's field of 64, ranking the most among all Division I conferences. The `Dores have made a school record 11 straight Sweet 16 appearances with Macdonald at the helm.
The `Dores are coming off a 1-1 performance at last week's SEC Women's Tennis Championship in Fayetteville, Ark. The fifth-seeded Commodores defeated No. 49 Mississippi State 4-0, before bowing out to fourth-seed Florida in the quarterfinals.
First and second-round competition will be conducted May 8-10 with the winner of each site advancing to the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas, hosted by Texas A&M University.
The teams will play a single-elimination tournament at 16 first and second-round sites (four teams at each site) and the finals 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.
The 19th-ranked Commodores learned of their postseason fate late Tuesday afternoon as they watched the NCAA Tennis Selection Show at the Student Rec Center.
NCAA Regional Information-- May 9-10
Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex, Urbana, Ill.
Saturday, May 9
Match #1 - Fresno State (22-5) vs. Eastern Kentucky (22-5) 9 a.m. CDT
Match #2 - Vanderbilt (11-8) vs. Illinois (18-7) 12 p.m. CDT
Sunday, May 10
Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 2 1 p.m. CDT