April 28, 2015
THE FLATS — The #27 Georgia Tech women’s tennis team (16-9) will make its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, traveling to face #33 Wichita State (24-3) in the NCAA Championship first round at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex on the University of Florida’s campus in Gainesville, Fla. on Friday, May 8, at noon.
“I’m glad that we are in the NCAA regionals,” head coach Rodney Harmon said. “We are going down to the University of Florida. We have a very tough first round match against Wichita State. We have to first focus on that match. We will be trying to get our team ready and get prepared from that match and go from there. We are back down to Florida for a second time. It is a place we are familiar with. We look forward to the opportunity and we plan to go down there and do our best.”
This will be the 16th overall and 16th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for the Yellow Jackets. Tech has advanced to the Sweet 16 seven times and won the 2007 national title. The NCAA Championships begin May 14 in Waco, Texas at Baylor University.
This will be the first meeting in the history of the program between Georgia Tech and Wichita State. The Shockers went 24-3 overall this year and 7-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Wichita State was an automatic qualifier in this year’s tournament after winning its seventh-straight MVC tournament title.
Also in the Gainesville, Fla. region are host #5 Florida (21-3) and Bethune-Cookman (22-6). Florida enters the NCAA tournament as the tournament’s overall five seed. Bethune-Cookman is 22-6 on the season and won the MEAC Tournament. Georgia Tech and Bethune-Cookman have never met in school history.
This will be the second time in three years that the Yellow Jackets travel to Gainesville for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2013, the Jackets made the trip, defeating #35 Yale, 4-3, and falling to number one seed and eventual national champion, Florida, 4-0. Florida leads the overall series, 2-0, recording wins in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2013 and the Elite Eight in 2008 against the Yellow Jackets.
Most recently, the Yellow Jackets advanced to the ACC Tournament Championship match, where the #6-seed Jackets fell to #4-seed Virginia, 4-0. Georgia Tech defeated #14 seed NC State, 4-0, upset #3 seed Duke, 4-3, and edged #10 seed Florida State, 4-3, to advance to the finals. It was the Yellow Jackets’ fifth appearance in the tournament finals and first under head coach Rodney Harmon.
Georgia Tech wrapped up the regular season, winning 11 out of 14 matches. Johnnise Renaud and Paige Hourigan, both freshmen, were each named to the All-ACC Second Team. Hourigan is the #53-ranked singles player while Renaud checks in at #102. Hourigan and junior Kendal Woodard make up the nation’s 16th-ranked doubles duo.