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Baylor Tennis Teams Selected Into NCAA Tournament

WACO (May 1, 2012) -- Baylor’s 12th-ranked women’s tennis team was selected as a host for the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship on May 11-12.

Making its eighth consecutive appearance and 15th overall in the NCAA tournament, Baylor will be joined by its first-round opponent, Oral Roberts, along with Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin. The Lady Bears will hit the court Friday at 2 p.m., just after the conclusion of the 11 a.m. match between Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin. The winners will play on Saturday at 2 p.m. for a chance to advance to the Round of 16 at the finals site in Athens, Ga. Match times will be announced soon.

“It’s a really big deal to host,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “It’s a massive advantage as long as we get the community support. I’m hoping that Baylor nation can come out and really propel us to the final site. We haven’t hit on all cylinders yet, and so I’m hoping in this postseason that we can put together a team effort and make a run.”

Scrivano will be making his 11th overall trip to the NCAA tournament as a head coach, including his eighth at the helm of the Baylor program. The Lady Bears have made the Round of 16 in each of the last seven seasons, including five appearances in the Elite Eight and Final Four berths in 2008 and 2011.

This season, however, Baylor’s streak of seven consecutive Big 12 regular season titles and six consecutive Big 12 Championship titles came to an end as the team put together a 23-7 overall mark, including a tie for second in the league at 7-2.

The Lady Bears feature a senior trio of ranked singles players and a group of four newcomers who have come on strong in both singles and doubles in the latter half of the season. At the top, 15th-ranked Diana Nakic is 31-12, 22nd-ranked Nina Secerbegovic is 25-4 and 48th-ranked Sona Novakova is 25-4.

In the bottom half of the Baylor singles lineup, the quartet of freshmen Ema Burgic, Megan Horter and Nicole Kosakowski, and sophomore transfer Jordaan Sanford, has combined to post a 20-4 singles mark in the last nine team matches with wins in each of the last 12 matches on Courts 4-6.

The winner of Sunday's match will move on to the championship site in Athens, Ga., from May 17-28.

For just the sixth time in program history and the first year since 2009, Baylor men’s tennis will be on the road for NCAA Championship first and second round matches, May 11-12. The Bears will travel to Starkville, Miss., where they will take on Memphis in first-round action at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on the campus of Mississippi State. Mississippi State will face Alcorn State in the other first round match.

“We’re just excited to be in the tournament, you’ve got to get in to have a chance to win and we feel like we’ve played pretty well the past few weeks and we’re excited to build on that. We’ve got a tough start against a Memphis team that beat Tennessee earlier in the year, they’re going to give us all we want. We’ve got to worry about ourselves. If we go out and play the way we’re capable of, we’re going to have confidence against anybody that we run across,’ said head coach Matt Knoll.

Baylor’s young squad, which features three freshmen in the top six of the lineup, will be making its 15th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bears, currently 17-11 on the season and ranked No. 28 nationally, have been to four of the last eight NCAA Final Fours, including a national title in 2004 and a runner-up finish in 2005. Baylor has advanced to the tournament’s round of 16, 10 straight years and 12 times overall and has made nine consecutive quarterfinal appearances. This season marks the first time since 2001 the Bears have not been a top 16 seed.

Memphis, 19-5 on the season and ranked No. 32 in the most recent ITA rankings, is coming off a 4-0 loss to Tulsa in the title match of the 2012 Conference USA Men's Tennis Championship .

Mississippi State, the tournament’s No. 9 seed, is 19-6 on the season and ranked ninth nationally. The Bulldogs will take on Alcorn State, 10-8, in first round action.

The winner of each site will advance to the NCAA Tennis Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., hosted by the University of Georgia. Team competition in Athens is May 18-22, while the singles and doubles championship will take place May 23-28. Selections for those tournaments will be announced on Wednesday, May 2.

Baylor is 41-13 in NCAA Tournament play all-time and has only lost twice in the opening two rounds (1998 and 2001).

All matches in the NCAA Championships shall be regulation dual matches with three eight-game, pro-set doubles played for one team point, followed by six singles matches, each valued at one team point, played best of three sets. Regular scoring will be used and a 12-point tiebreaker will be played at eight games all in doubles and at six games all in singles.


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