FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ women’s tennis team is hosting the NCAA Fayetteville Regional this weekend with the second-seeded Razorbacks meeting Sacramento State Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Billingsley Tennis Center.
Top-seeded Clemson faces Wichita State in the other first-round match Saturday at 10 a.m. The two winners meet in Sunday’s second round at 1 p.m. Clemson is ranked No. 15, Arkansas No. 21 and Sacramento State No. 47.
Arkansas is making its fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its fifth in six years. The Razorbacks are hosting an NCAA Regional for the second time in three years.
Head coach Michael Hegarty’s club won the Fayetteville Regional in 2009 after winning the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional in North Carolina in 2008.
"Two years ago, we hosted for the first time and we were able to get through the regional and get to the Sweet Sixteen," Hegarty says. "After losing three seniors off that team, last year we were able to go to OU and beat Oklahoma in the first round before losing a close match to Texas in the second round. We’re a year older and stronger. We hope that’s the difference for us."
The Southeastern Conference has long been one of the strongest leagues in the nation and this year eight members are in the NCAA field.
Arkansas is one of only five SEC members in the post-season for the fourth straight year and the only member from the Western Division. The Razorbacks join Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina with a four-year streak.
Not only has Arkansas been a consistent member of the NCAA field, but the Razorbacks have had success.
The Razorbacks reached the Elite Eight in 2008, the Sweet Sixteen in 2009 and the second round in 2010.
With six wins in the NCAA Tournament in the last three years, Arkansas ranks third in the SEC. Florida leads with 10, followed by Georgia with seven, Arkansas six, Tennessee and South Carolina five each, Vanderbilt three, LSU and Kentucky two, and Auburn one.
SEC Members In The NCAA Tournament (last four years)2008 – 92009 – 102010 – 72011 – 8
SEC NCAA Tournament Wins (last three years)Florida – 10Georgia – 7Arkansas – 6South Carolina – 5Tennessee – 5Vanderbilt – 3LSU – 2Kentucky – 2Auburn – 1
SEC Teams With Four Straight NCAA Tournament AppearancesArkansas (only team from the Western Division)FloridaGeorgiaTennesseeSouth Carolina