Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Tennis team earned a bid to the 2014 NCAA Division III Championships, it was announced today.
The Sagehens begin play on Thursday with an opening round match against UC Santa Cruz, with the winner moving on to face La Verne in the regional semifinals on Friday. The regional finals will take place on Saturday, with that victor advancing to the nationals, which will also be held at CMS beginning on May 19.
Pomona-Pitzer comes into the NCAA Tournament with a 15-7 record and a No. 6 national ranking. The Sagehens faltered a bit in the SCIAC Tournament with a fourth-place finish, falling to both La Verne and Redlands, but still had a strong enough resume to earn one of the at-large selections to the tournament field.
The Sagehens did not face UC Santa Cruz this season, but fell to the Banana Slugs last year 6-3 at home. Two years ago, Pomona-Pitzer won a 9-0 decision against UC Santa Cruz, but only seniors Sammy Chao and Arthi Padmanabhan are left from that singles line-up.
If the Sagehens advance to face La Verne, it'll be the third meeting between the SCIAC rivals this season, with the first two resulting in a split. Pomona-Pitzer won 6-3 at home on its Senior Day on April 11, but the Leopards won the rematch 7-2 in the SCIAC semifinals by sweeping doubles (fighting off match points on both the No. 1 and No. 2 courts) and riding that momentum to the win.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Whitman and Texas-Tyler are on the other half of the regional bracket, with top-seeded CMS receiving the bye. The Athenas defeated Pomona-Pitzer 8-1 during the regular season, while Pomona-Pitzer picked up an 8-1 win over Whitman.
The Sagehens have reached the regional finals in each of the last three years (2011-13), falling to CMS each time. In 2009 and 2010, Pomona-Pitzer won the West Region and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals, while in 2008, the Sagehens made it to the NCAA semifinals (while Siobhan Finicane won the national title in singles).
To view the complete NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Tournament bracket, go to the following link: