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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Wake Forest Men and Vanderbilt Women Top Seeds as Division I NCAA Draws Revealed; Girls Team USA Competition Begins Wednesday in Lake Nona

The NCAA Division I Tennis Committee announced its 64 selections for the 2018 Team Championships, which begin with regional competitions next weekend.  Sixteen men's teams and 16 women's team will earn a place in the finals, which will be held this year at Wake Forest May 17-22. This is the last year for 16 teams at the finals site; next year, when the tournament is held at the USTA's National Campus in Lake Nona, eight men's and eight women's teams will advance, with Super Regional matches at campus sites first. This will decrease the number of days at the finals site by two, and will allow the finals to be played on Sunday, rather than on Tuesday.

At any rate, the top 16 seeds, all of whom will host regionals are (see full draws by clicking on headings):

1. Wake Forest
3. Ohio State
4. Stanford
5. Texas A&M
6. Mississippi State
7. North Carolina
8. Illinois
9. TCU
10. Southern Cal
11. Texas
12. Florida State
13. Florida
14. Oklahoma
15. Michigan
16. Columbia

In the men's draw, three-time defending champion Virginia was one of the last teams in, but the Cavaliers were given a No. 2 seed and sent to Columbia, which will be hosting at the USTA's Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. It's odd not to see Georgia hosting, but the Bulldogs couldn't put together enough ranked wins to move into the Top 16 and will travel to Oklahoma instead.  Baylor, which just reached the final of the Big-12 tournament, will be playing at nearby Texas A&M, with the Aggies probably wishing they'd gotten a No. 2 seed with a little less momentum.

1. Vanderbilt
2. North Carolina
3. Duke
4. Georgia Tech
5. Ole Miss
6. Texas
7. Georgia
8. Oklahoma State
9. Florida
10. South Carolina
11. Texas Tech
12. UCLA
13. Pepperdine
14. Northwestern
15. Stanford
16. Miami

Although there was some question about who would be the No. 1 seed in the women's draw, I don't think too many people would argue against Vanderbilt, after they beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill in their only head-to-head meeting. Stanford's push in the second half of the season got them into hosting position, and they are more than capable of making a run in the tournament, although the Pac-12 is definitely not as strong as in years past, with neither Cal nor USC making the tournament this year.   The big news in the women's selections is that Arkansas, who played six matches in one day against Tennessee State to get to the required .500 record, was not selected, despite a ranking [29] that would suggest they belonged in the field.

As always, I'll have more comments on the tournament for the Tennis Recruiting Network's Roundtable, Part 1 of which will be out on Friday.
SlamTennis has probabilities posted for the first round matches, and the Bracket Challenge, where you can predict the tournament for prizes, is now open. And College Tennis Today is always a good bet for more information on why teams are seeded where they are.

The individual selections will be released at 6 p.m. EDT Wednesday at ncaa.com.

Two weeks ago, the USTA boys Team USA was determined; on Wednesday, the competition for the girls 16-and-under team will begin, with the following players participating:

Vanessa Ong
Savannah Broadus
Connie Ma
Sedona Gallagher
Karina Miller
Elise Wagle
Alexandra Yepifanova
Anna Zhang
Ellie Coleman
Emma Jackson
Fiona Crawley
Gianna Pielet
Elvina Kalieva
Lauren Stein
Kylie Collins
Ava Hrastar

USTA Player Development provides those on the team with training opportunities, coaching and travel assistance to select USTA National and ITF junior tournaments throughout the summer.

The order of play for the round robin competition is here.

The round robin groups are here.

The top two finishers in each group will then play in a single elimination tournament. I am still waiting to hear if Alexa Noel and Gabby Price are already on the team via ITF ranking criteria, so at this time I'm not sure how many places are available on the team. 


Brent said...

Colette, I think Texas beat Baylor in the Big 12 tournament final but your momentum point is still valid.

How in the world did UVA get a #2 seed? I understand balancing travel but that is truly ridiculous.

And while it seems like sweet justice for Arkansas to get left out given their shenanigans at the end of the season, it isn't their fault that the ridiculous .500 rule was there in the first place.

Should be a fun post-season.

Colette Lewis said...

Yes, you're right of course, thank you. I had in the back of my mind that TCU-Baylor was the final. I will correct.

Guest said...

Colette, do you know what days the men/women play the round of 16 and Quarters? The NCAA interactive draw lists the dates for the 1st and 2d rounds as well as the semis and finals?

In particular, who plays on Saturday and who plays on Sunday in Winston-Salem? Thanks

Colette Lewis said...

Women are first this year, so they will play Thursday and Saturday, with the men on the Friday - Sunday schedule.

Howard Cosell said...

“Down goes Georgia... Down goes Georgia”, Minnesota defeats Georgia in first round of Men’s NCAA’s, 4-3. The Match came down to ct #1, Felix Corwin, and he pulls it out 6-2 in the 3rd. Where is Paul Oosterbaan when you need him! Go Gophers!

Cinderella said...

#37 Minnesota on a Gopher Roll!! Takes out #14 Oklahoma 4-0!! Get Up Big Ten!!