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May 7, 2012

Pomona-Pitzer Receives NCAA Bid, Faces Texas-Tyler In Opening Round

Claremont, Calif. - The 14th-ranked Pomona-Pitzer Women's Tennis team earned a selection to the NCAA Division III Championships, it was announced today.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps will serve as the host of the six-team regional, which will begin on Friday, May 11 with Pomona-Pitzer facing No. 30 Texas-Tyler in one of the matches while UC Santa Cruz faces Whitman in the other. If the Sagehens defeat Texas-Tyler, they will move on to face No. 13 Trinity (Texas) on Saturday, while the Whitman-Santa Cruz winner advances to face CMS.

The two semifinal winners will meet on Sunday in the regional finals to advance to the national quarterfinals in Cary, North Carolina on May 21-23.

There were 49 teams chosen to the NCAA Division III Championship, with 38 receiving automatic bids. Three were selected from a pool of independents (and schools from conferences with no automatic bids) and eight were at-large or "Pool C" selections. Pomona-Pitzer received one of those eight selections in order to make its fourth straight NCAA appearance.

The Sagehens are coming off a runner-up finish in the SCIAC Tournament in which it gave top-seeded CMS (ranked ninth nationally) a strong challenge before falling 5-4.

Pomona-Pitzer will be led by junior Jamie Solomon (Los Gatos, Calif.) and Sammy Chao (Hong Kong, China) in the top two singles spots. Solomon is ranked No. 27 nationally in singles, while Chao is undefeated this year in singles against Division III opponents (12-0). Chao's only loss in singles this spring came to a nationally-ranked competitor from Division II Cal State Los Angeles at the Ojai Tournament.

Seniors Emily Kawahara (Sacramento, Calif.) and Nicole Holsted (Edmund, Okla.) will also get the chance to compete in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth year in a row in their final campaigns. The duo competes at No. 3 doubles, and picked up a win against CMS in the SCIAC championship match.

Sophomore Arthi Padmanabhan and junior Kara Wang, who both hail from Saratoga, California, will be key contributors in both singles and doubles. Wang and Solomon play at No. 1 doubles, while Padmanabhan and Chao compete at No. 2. Junior Jessica Hsu (Henderson, Nev.) has also fought her way into the singles line-up this season.

Both the men's tennis and women's tennis regionals will be held simultaneously at CMS, with the men's regional beginning Thursday and the women's on Friday.