May 3, 2006
CLEMSON, SC – The NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship selections were announced on Wednesday night, with the Clemson team earning the #15 overall seed in the tournament and the #1 seed in its regional bracket. The Tigers will play host to the first and second rounds for the third consecutive year, welcoming Furman, Kentucky and Siena to the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center on May 12-13. Clemson will face the Siena Saints in one first-round contest, while the Paladins of Furman will take on the Kentucky Wildcats in the other. Match times will be released at a later date.
Clemson has won the previous two regionals held on its home court to advance to the NCAA Championships round of 16. Last season, the Tigers defeated Furman, 4-0, in the opening round and William & Mary, 4-0, to claim the regional title.
The selection to the 2006 NCAA Tournament marks the fifth consecutive year and the 14th time in history that Clemson has made an appearance in the national tournament. It is also the seventh time in Head Coach Nancy Harris’ nine seasons at the helm of the program that the Tigers have advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Clemson reached the Final Four in 2004 and 2005.
The Tigers have compiled a 16-7 overall record on the year. After a 4-4 start to the season, Clemson won eight straight matches, beginning with a 6-1 victory over Brown on Mar. 5, before falling to fifth-ranked Miami on Apr. 2. Of the Tigers’ 23 opponents this season, 20 were ranked among the Fila/ITA top 75 when they faced Clemson and 13 fell to the Tigers.
Siena is making its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, earning an automatic bid for winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Saints have compiled a 14-6 record for the season. The first-round match-up between Clemson and Siena will be the first meeting in history between the schools.
Kentucky boasts a 17-9 overall record for 2006 and is ranked 20th in the latest Fila/ITA Tennis poll. A second-round meeting between the Wildcats and Tigers would be the 10th match-up between the teams in history and the first in NCAA Tournament competition. Kentucky holds a 6-3 all-time advantage, but Clemson has won two of three contests played on its home court. The two teams last met at the 2005 USTA/ITA National Team Tournament in Madison, WI, where the 14th-ranked Wildcats upset the third-ranked Tigers, 4-3.
Clemson and Furman are familiar foes, meeting 39 previous times on the tennis court. The Tigers defeated the Paladins by a score of 4-3 earlier this season to increase their lead to 36-3 in the series score and their home record against Furman to 21-1. The two schools also met in the first round of the 2005 NCAA regionals held in Clemson, with the Tigers claiming a 4-0 victory.
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