Tennis

Canes set to host fifth consecutive regional

The University of Miami women’s tennis team was announced by the NCAA Selection Committee as one of 16 hosts for the NCAA Women’s Tennis Tournament, which begins May 8.

Sixth-ranked Miami (23-4) earned the No. 6 overall seed after winning the regular season ACC title and advancing to the ACC championship match before dropping a close 4-3 decision to third-ranked Duke.

No. 42 Princeton, Army and local rival and 29th-ranked FIU (18-5) will compete at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. The Canes open up play against Army (24-8), winners of the Patriot League title. FIU, the Sun Belt Conference champions, take on Princeton (18-7), the champions out of the Ivy League.

“Obviously, we’re happy to host, and it’s a testament to how hard the girls have worked all year,” said head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews, the 2009 ACC Coach of the Year. “That’s our goal every season [to host], and to start the field of 64 in our own backyard.”

For the fifth consecutive year the Hurricanes received a national seed. Over the past three years, Miami won first and second round matches to advance to the round of 16. It also marks the 14th straight season that UM has advanced to the NCAA tournament.

On the season, the Hurricanes went 15-3 against teams in this year’s tournament, including a 6-1 victory over FIU on Jan. 28. The Canes also beat five of the 16 nationally-seeded teams, such as Duke, No. 10 Tennessee and No. 12 Clemson.

Four singles players are ranked nationally: sophomore Julia Cohen (No. 4), junior Laura Vallverdu (No. 24) and sophomores Bianca Eickorn (No. 31) and Michaela Kissell (No. 52), who has won 13 matches in a row. Before the loss to Duke, Miami was riding a 12-match winning streak.

“Looking forward to the second round, we could face FIU and they’re a tough and talented local team,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “They have some of the same advantages as we do in that they can sleep in their own beds and they can have somewhat of a home crowd. We can’t get ahead of ourselves, and can’t take anyone lightly. We’ve got eight points ahead of us.”

INFO BOX

Friday, May 8
Match 1: Princeton vs. FIU, 10 a.m.
Match 2: Army vs. No. 6 Miami, 1 p.m.

Saturday, May 9
Match 3: Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 2 – 2 p.m

For ticket information on the Coral Gables Regional, please contact the UM Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-CANES. Box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

April 29, 2009

Reporters

Christina De Nicola

Editor In Chief


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