FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 21 Razorback women’s tennis won’t have to go far for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament as they were selected as one of the 16 host schools for the regionals of the NCAA Tournament, which was announced Tuesday afternoon.
Arkansas (17-9) will enter the tournament as a No. 2 seed of the regional, while Clemson (19-10) will come in as the No. 1 seed of the regional and 15th overall seed of the tournament. The team will play Sacramento State (19-8) in the first round on May 14th at 1 p.m. If the Hogs win that match, they will move on to play the winner of Clemson and Wichita State (17-9) on May 15th at 1 p.m.
“We’re very excited to host a regional,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “We knew going in that there was a good chance that we would host and we had an excellent season, so it certainly worked well for us. We don’t know Clemson very well, we don’t know Sacramento State very well, but we have a lot of work to do to prepare for Sacramento State. I know they had a great season and won their conference, so it should make for a very tough first round”
This is the fourth straight year that the Razorbacks have been selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament and the fifth time in the last six years to go along with an Elite 8 appearance in the ’07-’08 season and a Sweet 16 appearance in the ’08-’09 season. Under Hegarty, the Hogs have recorded a 6-4 overall record. Last season, the Razorbacks advanced to the second round after defeating Oklahoma 4-2. They then lost to Texas by a score of 4-0.
Of the teams featured in the regional, Arkansas has only played Sacramento State once back in the ’92-93 season and Wichita State 16 times with the last time coming in the ’05-’06 season. Clemson is the only team out of the three that Arkansas has never faced in its history.
“We’re playing as well as we’ve played all season,” said Hegarty. “This is a great time for us to be doing that and NCAAs is really when we want to play our best tennis. We’ve been talking about it all year long. To be able to do it here at home for the first two rounds, I just hope that gives us the edge we need to get through the regional. It’s huge for us to be hosting. Over the years, we’ve had a great homecourt advantage and the only other time we’ve hosted, we were able to get through the regional and I don’t think we would have been able to do that on the road, so this shapes up as a huge advantage for us.”
Also representing the SEC in the tournament draw is Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Florida, who drew the No. 2 overall seed.
For continued coverage of the first two rounds of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Tournament as well as the Razorbacks run through the postseason, stay tuned to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.