CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –The No. 21 Virginia women’s tennis team (17-8) will face Old Dominion (19-4) in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships in a regional hosted by South Carolina. It is the second consecutive season for the Cavaliers to travel to play in a regional hosted by the Gamecocks.
Virginia’s first-round matchup with Old Dominion will be played at 11 a.m. on Friday (May 3) with the second-round match for advancing teams played on Saturday (May 4) at 2 p.m.
South Carolina (20-3), which is the fourth-seeded team in the overall tournament field, will face North Florida (17-7) in the other match to be played at the regional this weekend. Virginia and Old Dominion faced each other in the regular season with the Cavaliers taking a 4-3 win over the Monarchs in Charlottesville on March 28.
Virginia is making its 19th appearance in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships and second consecutive appearance under head coach Sara O’Leary.
The 17 wins in the regular season bests the total number of wins a year ago after Virginia advanced to the second-round of the NCAA Tournament, playing in a regional at South Carolina. This season, the Cavaliers finished seventh in the ACC regular-season standings and advanced to the quarterfinals of the ACC Championships, falling to then No. 3 Duke in a 4-2 match.
Virginia has a pair of players ranked in the latest Oracle/ITA Women’s Singles rankings. Senior Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Maine) is ranked No. 22 in the polls, while freshman Amber O’Dell (New Milford, N.J.) is ranked No. 122.
The Cavaliers also have two doubles pairings in the Oracle/ITA Women’s Doubles Rankings. Kelley and freshman Sofia Munera (Pereira, Colombia) are the No. 18 duo, while O’Dell and junior Chloe Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) are the No. 60 tandem.
Old Dominion, which is ranked No. 37 in the latest team rankings, earned an at-large bid for the first time in program history. The Monarchs are making only the second NCAA Championships appearance for the program with the first berth coming in the 2001 season when Old Dominion won the CAA Tournament. Old Dominion was ranked as high as No. 19 in the team rankings this season after posting wins at No. 24 Tennessee and No. 50 Baylor.
Holly Hutchinson is the only singles player in the rankings for Old Dominion, coming in at No. 76 overall. Hutchinson and Brooke Pilkington are ranked No. 61 in doubles as the only pairing in the rankings for the Monarchs.
The winner of each site advances to super-regional competition May 10 or 11. Each super-regional site will feature two teams playing a single-elimination format. The super-regional winners advance to the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida, where the eight teams will compete for the national championship May 17-19. The event will be hosted by the University of Central Florida and the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.