Youngstown State Women’s Tennis Receives NCAA Draw
The Youngstown State women's tennis team will return to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on the Michigan Wolverines in the 2017 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships. The Penguins claimed their fourth straight Horizon League title at Michigan's Varsity Tennis Center this past weekend.
The Penguins (16-8) will play 10th-seeded Michigan (21-5) at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 12 in Ann Arbor. That match will follow the first contest of the regional which features Kentucky (16-8) vs. Dartmouth (17-4). That contest will begin at 10 a.m.
The Wolverines won the Big Ten regular-season title winning all 11 conference matches. Michigan lost to Ohio State, which is the No. 3 seed in the NCAA, in the Big Ten Tournament Championship match last Sunday in Champaign, Ill.
Ironically, the Penguins enjoyed a Championship victory inside the Varsity Tennis Center on the same day. YSU defeated Wright State 4-2 in the Horizon League Championship match held in Ann Arbor.
This is the fourth consecutive year the Penguins have advanced to the NCAA Regional while the Wolverines have been to 16 straight NCAA Tournaments.
YSU has played Virginia, USC and Ohio State in its previous three NCAA Tournament trips.
The winners of Friday's matches will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 13.
Valparaiso Men’s Tennis to Face Michigan in NCAA Tournament
The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team is set to take on Michigan in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 12.
The Crusaders and Wolverines will play a neutral site first-round match, as the four-team pod will be hosted by No. 16 Stanford. Valpo received a No. 3 seed within the four-team pod, avoiding a match with the host Cardinal.
“It was a surprise to draw Michigan and to go to Stanford,” Valpo head coach Jim Daugherty said. “It’s a pleasant surprise, and for the players it will be a nice, refreshing change to go to California. Michigan is a very good team, but we’re going in with a lot of confidence.”
The Crusaders defeated Youngstown State in Saturday’s Horizon League semifinal, before edging Cleveland State in Sunday’s league championship match, clinching an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.
The Crusaders did have head-to-head success against the Wolverines at the ITA Doubles Regional in the fall. Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) and Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA Midwest Regional in Columbus, Ohio by virtue of an 8-7 win over Michigan doubles combo Myles Schalet and Runhao Hua.
Valpo’s top doubles team of Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) and Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) lost a highly-competitive regional championship match to Michigan’s Jathan Malik and Kevin Wong. The match was a three-set thriller with each of the first two sets decided on tiebreaks, then the third set tiebreak was won by Malik and Wong 15-13.
Michigan holds a 22-6 record and went 10-2 in Big Ten play. The Wolverines reached the Big Ten Championship match, falling to No. 2 Ohio State 4-1. The Crusaders celebrated their Horizon League title on Michigan’s home court on Sunday, as the Horizon League Tournament was held in Ann Arbor. Valpo (23-3) set the program record for victories for the fourth consecutive season.
The winner of Valpo and Michigan will advance to play the winner of Idaho and No. 16 Stanford on Saturday, May 13. The four-team pod will be hosted at Stanford’s Taube Tennis Center, a historic 3,500-seat venue that has gone through many renovations and additions over the years after originally being built in 1926.
“It’s nice to play on a neutral court in the first round,” Daugherty said. “Playing at Stanford is very positive – the guys always get up for big venues like that. I don’t think there’s going to be an awe factor involved. They’re going to revel in the situation and take it all in. Being on a large stage just motivates them that much more.”