May 9, 2011

Big Red ready for NCAA Regional

Coming off their 10th-straight North Coast Athletic Conference championship, the Denison women's tennis team will travel to DePauw University for one of the eight NCAA Regional tournaments, which are set to begin on Thursday (May 12) and continue through Saturday (May 14).

This is the Big Red's 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and their 10th-straight berth dating back to 2002. Sixth-ranked Denison (16-4) has won five-straight matches and 13 of their last 14, with their only loss coming to No. 4 Chicago.

On Thursday, Albion (14-3) and Grove City (13-2) will battle in the lower half of the bracket at 2 p.m. The winner of that first round contest will face DU on Friday at 2 p.m. Denison is 16-2 all-time against Albion, including a 2-0 mark in NCAA Tournament competition. In 2005, the Big Red shut out the Britons, 6-0, in the opening round in Granville. Three years later the two met in Greencastle, Ind. in the second round of the tournament. Denison came away with a 5-1 victory on their way to a third-place finish at nationals. DU and Grove City have never met in the 37-year history of the program.

In the other half of the bracket, Baldwin-Wallace (18-7) and Wheaton (Ill.) (20-2) will face off in a first round match at 10 a.m., with the winner taking on the host Tigers in the second round at 10 a.m. on Friday.  The winners of Friday's second round matches will hit the hard court on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the right to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals in Claremont, Calif.

Denison and DePauw have become quite familiar with each other in NCAA Tournament play. The two schools, which will become conference rivals next season, have met four times in the tournament with the Big Red holding a 3-1 advantage. The Tigers hold a 13-14 edge in the all-time series, but DU has won four of the last five meetings.