Men Head North, Women West for NCAA Tennis Assignments

May 2, 2017

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by Chuck Pool ( -

The Rice men's tennis team will have a short trip north to face a team from the northeast while the Rice women's team will travel to the west coast to take on a familiar foe from Texas in the opening round of action in the 2017 NCAA Tennis Championship. The brackets for the 64-team fields were released on Tuesday.

The 42nd ranked men (23-7) will open play against No. 26 Cornell in the Waco Regional at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 12 while the women (18-5) , currently ranked 35th, will take a streak of five consecutive opening round wins into a first round matchup with No. 28 TCU in the Stanford Regional at 1 p.m. on Saturday May 13.

The Owls are 3-1 against Cornell, including wins in the last two matches. The Owls were 2-1 this year against Ivy League schools, defeating Penn and Dartmouth and losing to Princeton. This will be the 32nd meeting between the Rice women and TCU and the first since 2013. TCU holds a 16-15 lead in the series including a 4-0 win in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Championship.

"Even though we knew we were an automatic qualifier, it's always an exciting moment when you learn your opponent," Rice men's head coach Efe Ustundag said. "On the surface, you might think that having played Cornell three of the last four years (2014-16), we'd have an advantage. But they are a much different team now and they have earned the second seed after adding some key players. It's certainly a positive for us that we don't have far to travel, but we have to be ready for a strong challenge"

"We are honored to be representing Rice and C-USA in the tournament," women's coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. "TCU has also had a very solid season and it should be an exciting 1st round match. Last time we went out to Stanford we had a lot of Rice alums and supporters who live in the Bay Area come out to cheer us on so hoping we can get another good crowd this year."



Tickets for the Stanford Regional are $8 (adult) and $5 (student/youth/senior) for a single day. Tickets will go sale Wednesday, May 10, at 9 a.m. PT.

This is the second consecutive year and the third time in school history for Rice to send both tennis teams to the NCAA Championship. In 2006 the women earned and automatic bid, while the men were an at-large selection and they both earned automatic bids last year after capturing the C-USA title.

This is the 12th appearance in the NCAA Championship for the men's team and is the first consecutive berths since 2010-11. They have a 6-11 record in NCAA play, including a 4-3 loss to LSU last year at the Fort Worth Regional.

The Rice women return to NCAA action for the sixth consecutive year and for the 10th time in school history. They have an overall record of 6-9 in NCAA play, including a 6-5 mark in five appearances under Schmidt. The Owls have won their opening match in the tournament in each of the last five years.

Regional play continues through Sunday, May 14 with the remaining 16 teams for both the men and women advancing to the NCAA Championships in Athens, Georgia, May 18-23. The Rice men advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2004, while the women did the same in 2012.



Season    Location                Opponent (Round)       Result

1996      College Station, TX     LSU (64)               L, 5-3

1997      Jake Hess Stadium       Texas A&M (64)         L, 5-3

1998      Baton Rouge, LA         Arkansas (64)          L, 5-0

2006      Ft. Worth, TX           TCU (64)               L, 4-0

2012      Oxford, MS              Illinois (64)          W, 4-3

             Ole Miss (32)           W, 4-2

   Athens, GA              UCLA(16)               L, 4-0

2013      Stanford, CA            Pepperdine (64)        W, 4-3

             Stanford (32)           L, 4-0

2014      Waco, TX                Denver (64)            W, 4-0

             Baylor (32)             L, 4-1

2015      Waco, TX                Tulsa (64)             W, 4-0

             Baylor (32)             L, 4-2

2016      Nashville, TN                Clemson(64)             W, 4-1

             Vanderbilt (32)             L, 4-0



Season    Location               Opponent (Round)        Result

2001      Durham, NC             Auburn (64)             L, 4-1

2003      Austin, TX             South Carolina (64)     W, 4-2

             Texas (32)              L, 4-3

2004      Baton Rouge, LA        South Alabama (64)      W, 4-1

             LSU (32)                W, 4-0

   Tulsa, OK              Baylor (16)             L, 4-1

2005      Waco, TX               Texas (64)              L, 4-3

2006      Austin, TX             Louisiana-Lafayette (64)W, 4-1

            Texas (32)               L, 4-0

2007      Waco, TX               Texas A&M (64)          L, 4-2

2008      Austin, TX             TCU (64)                W, 4-3

             Texas (32)              L, 4-0

2009      Baton Rouge, LA        LSU (64)                L, 4-0

2010      Waco, TX                Washington (64)        W, 4-3

             Baylor (32)             L, 4-0

2011      Waco, TX               Texas Tech (64)         L, 4-3

2016      Ft. Worth, TX               LSU (64)         L, 4-3

* The NCAA moved to the current team championship system in 1977.



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