FAYETTEVILLE — The No. 33 Razorback women’s tennis team is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year and sixth time in the last seven years. Arkansas (12-13) received an at-large bid for this year’s tournament and will play Long Beach State (18-5) in the first round as a No. 2 seed in the Los Angeles Regional hosted by No. 1 overall seed UCLA.
The winner of the match between UA and LBSU will play the winner of UCLA (21-2) and Eastern Kentucky (18-6). The regional is set to start on Friday, May 11 and run through Saturday, May 12. Start times for the matches have yet to be released. The team that wins the four-team regional will advance to the final rounds hosted by the University of Georgia.
“It’s always exciting to qualify for the NCAA Tournament,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. “It’s an honor and a thrill for the team. We’re excited about the opportunity to play a very good Long Beach State team. You, obviously, never look any further than your first round opponent in the NCAA Tournament. That’s always the most important match of the season and we’re excited to get started.”
This is the fifth straight year that the Razorbacks have been selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament and the sixth time in the last seven years to go along with an Elite Eight appearance in the 2007-2008 season and a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2008-2009 season. In its program history, the Razorbacks now have 12 bids all-time to the NCAA Tournament. Under Hegarty, the Razorbacks have recorded a 7-5 record in the tournament.
Last season, the team hosted the Fayetteville Regional and advanced to the second round after defeating Sacramento State in the first round, 4-1. Arkansas was ousted by Clemson in the following round.
Of the teams featured in the regional, Arkansas has never faced Long Beach St. or UCLA. It has faced and won a match with Eastern Kentucky back in the 1981-1982 season.
“With this being our fifth straight appearance, it shows that we’ve had a lot of really good players,” Hegarty said. “In the nine years that I have been here, the quality of the kids on the team has been very high and this team has been no different. I think that our seniors have been an integral part in helping this team have such a successful season and qualify for a number two seed in a regional."
Also representing the Southeastern Conference in the tournament draw is Ole Miss, Alabama, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, LSU and Florida, which is the reigning national champion.
For continued coverage of the Razorbacks run through the NCAA Tournament or University athletics, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
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