FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas Athletic Director, Jeff Long, provided words of pride and encouragement to the 17th-ranked Lady Razorback tennis team after the NCAA Women’s Tennis Tournament committee announced them in their 64 team field on Tuesday.
The Lady’Backs will take on No. 46 Wake Forest in Chapel Hill, N.C. on May 9 at 1 p.m. The match will be Arkansas’ third appearance in the tournament in the past eight seasons, and second under head coach Michael Hegarty.
“The thing you understand about the NCAA Tournament is that every team in the field is good and there is no easy route,” said Hegarty.
Arkansas finished the season 15-9 for the most wins the program has seen since 1999, while also claiming the team’s first ever Southeastern Conference Western Division title with a 7-4 regular season record in SEC action.
The Demon Deacons of Wake Forest ended their season on an eight-match losing-streak for an 8-13 overall record, and 4-8 in Atlantic Coastal Conference play.
As the selections took place on ESPNews, the team and coaches were on the edge of their seats hoping Fayetteville would host a regional site for the NCAA Women’s Tennis Tournament for first time ever, and at the reconstructed Billinglsey Tennis Center. Instead, the Lady’Backs will hit the road, but Hegarty believes his team is more than ready for the challenge.
“Whether hosting or not we’re in for a tough match up, but I believe our team has a good advantage playing on the road,” Hegarty said. “We have played and claimed wins against some very tough teams this season on the road.”
The host of the regional will be the 15th-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels. Arkansas will look to advance past the Round of 64 for the first time since 2001.
Be sure to visit LADYBACKS.COM for an insight preview into next week’s matchup against No. 46 Wake Forest.