May 1, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash. -
The Washington State University women's tennis team was one of 64 teams named to the 2012 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships field, the NCAA announced Tuesday.
The Cougars (18-6), ranked 31st nationally, will face No. 35 Florida State (13-10) as part of the four-team bracket May 11 at Gainesville, Fla. Host and No. 2 overall seed Florida will face South Carolina State (16-0) with the winners of the two matches meeting May 12. The winner of that match advances to the NCAA Finals site in Athens, Ga., May 17-20.
"Being selected for the NCAA Championships is a great reward, and I feel well deserved, for what we have achieved this season," said WSU Head Coach Lisa Hart, who is in her ninth year leading the Cougars. "Our results this season have been a true team effort. We have won throughout all parts of our lineup and have come from behind for victories, which is a testament to the great leadership we have on this team. We have also accomplished all of this playing in the best tennis conference in the nation."
The 2012 season has seen many milestones for the program, including a program-best six conference victories. The Cougars recorded wins over Arizona and Arizona State, the latter for the first time in school history, defeated five nationally-ranked teams and posted 18 overall wins, only shy of the school record. The victory total is the most since the conference began a full round-robin schedule for the 1999 season.
This year marks the second time in Hart's tenure that the Cougars have been selected for the team championship, the other coming in 2008 when WSU fell to No. 27 LSU in the first round. The Cougars also reached the postseason in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002. The 2001 squad defeated Indiana, 4-0, in the opening round for the Cougars' lone postseason victory.
"Last year I felt we had the talent and just needed a little more experience and to the team's credit they expected nothing less than making the tournament this year," said Hart. "Our results this year demonstrate that we can compete with the best teams in the nation and every member of this team is excited to have that opportunity."
The NCAA Tournament is comprised of 64 teams competing at 16, 1st/2nd round sites. Following the opening two rounds, held May 11-12 at various venues across the country, the 16 winners advance to Athens.
The Cougars are one of eight Pac-12 Conference teams to reach the postseason, joining No. 1 UCLA, No. 4 USC, No. 5 Stanford, No. 8 California, No. 27 Arizona, No. 36 Arizona State and No. 40 Utah. In all, WSU faced nine opponents during the 2012 campaign that were selected for the NCAA Tournament.
For more information and a complete bracket of the 2012 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships, go to ncaasports.com.