After a two-year hiatus, the 11th-ranked University of Redlands women's tennis team returns to the NCAA Division III Championships for the program's 10th overall appearance with an at-large berth to this year's tournament. The Bulldogs look forward to making the short trip to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges for Friday's first-round match against Whitman College (WA), which advanced as the Northwest Conference's automatic qualifier. Time of the match will be announced by the host school.
The winner of the Redlands-Whitman match faces Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in the second round on Saturday.
In addition to these schools, the University of Texas-Dallas, which is the American Southwest Conference representative, battles it out with Pool-B participant, UC Santa Cruz, for a chance to play Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, CMS, on Saturday.
The winners of Saturday's matches will square off on Sunday in the third round for a spot in the quarterfinals on May 20 at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, MI.
All six of these qualifiers boast rankings among the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Top 30, representing the high-caliber combination of competitors from the West Region. On the May 2 poll, CMS (28-0) sits near the top at No. 2, with Pomona-Pitzer (14-6) landing 10th and Redlands (19-3) closely following at No. 11. In addition, UC Santa Cruz (10-7) is rated 14th, Whitman (18-4) at No. 17, and the University of Texas-Dallas (15-3) breaks into the recent list at No. 29.
A total of 50 women's tennis teams advanced to the NCAA Championships, with 38 coming as automatic qualifiers, three as Pool-B bids, and nine as members of Pool C.
Redlands knocked off Whitman in an earlier meeting during the UC Santa Cruz Tournament, winning by a close 5-4 tally. The Bulldogs scored the first five points of the match by taking two of three doubles matches and then gaining victories from junior Paige Press (La Jolla, CA), sophomore Julia Pollak (Holland, PA), and sophomore Maddie Morton (Henderson, NV) at Nos. 4, 5, and 6, respectively.
In addition, the Maroon and Gray gains excellent contributions from the top of the lineup, with junior Jessica Ly (Torrance, CA), freshman Natalie Etchegaray (Placentia, CA), and Ceara Sumida (Hilo, HI) comprising the Nos. 1, 2, and 3 slots, respectively.
The Bulldogs opened the 2013 season with a 15-match winning streak and defeated then-No. 8 DePauw University (IN) in the process.
The Whitman Missionaries captured their second consecutive Northwest Conference championship to secure the AQ to the NCAA tournament. This season's honor came on a perfect 12-0 performance without relinquishing a single point to conference competition.
Recently, Courtney Lawless was named the NWC Player of the Year after a stellar campaign as the Missionaries No. 1 singles/doubles competitor. Alyssa Roberg and Morgan Lawless also landed on the First Team., while Jenna Dorbine earned Second-Team recognition.
For a complete NCAA Division III Women's Tennis bracket, please visit www.ncaa.com.
In addition, student-athletes selected to the individual championships for singles and doubles will be announced Wed., May 8.