The Kentucky women’s tennis team will make its fourth-straight NCAA Championship appearance this season as it heads to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the third consecutive year to take on Dartmouth on May 12 at 11 a.m. The two teams are joined in the regional by host-school Michigan and Horizon League champion Youngstown State.
“We are excited to compete next week,” said head coach Carlos Drada. “Our players know that they can beat any opponent and are committed to leaving it all on the court.”
Kentucky holds a 20-23 all-time record in the NCAA Championship, with its best finishes coming in 1988 and 2005 as the Wildcats advanced to the quarterfinals both years. The 2016 campaign saw Kentucky pick up a first-round victory over Xavier before falling to Michigan in the second round.
The Wildcats (16-8) earned their 23rd overall NCAA Championship bid after posting their first seven-win Southeastern Conference season since 2006. This season also marked the first time Kentucky has finished above .500 in conference play since 2007.
Earning an automatic bid for just the second time in program history, Dartmouth ended its regular season with a share of the Ivy League crown after compiling a 17-4 overall record and going 5-2 in league play.
The Wildcats own a 1-0 series advantage against Dartmouth after taking a 4-1 victory over the Big Green last year. Coincidentally, that match was also played in Ann Arbor as part of the ITA Kickoff Weekend. This season, UK has already seen three Ivy League opponents in Penn, Princeton and Columbia, coming up on the winning end of all three.
Youngstown State (16-8) picked up its fourth-straight Horizon League title this year to earn another automatic bid to the tournament. A matchup with the Penguins would be a first for Kentucky, as the two programs have never played.
With the No. 10 overall seed, Michigan (21-5) will be making its 16th-straight appearance in the NCAA Championship. The Wolverines are a familiar opponent for Kentucky as the two programs have faced off on 12 separate occasions, two of which came last season. Michigan handed UK its season-ending loss in the second round of last season’s NCAA Championship, downing the Wildcats, 4-1.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s tennis program, follow @UKWomensTennis on Twitter and Instagram, on Facebook at Facebook.com/UKWomensTennis and on the web at UKathletics.com.
‑ GO CATS –
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