MEDFORD, Mass. – After posting an outstanding 14-win season and advancing to the semifinals of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship for the first time since the 2010-11 season, the No. 6 Tufts University women's tennis team will host a six-team NCAA Division III Regional Tournament on Friday-Sunday at Voute Courts in Medford, Massachusetts.
If inclement weather plays a factor, some days of the tournament might need to be relocated to the Bass River Tennis Club, which is located at 31 Tozer Road in Beverly, Massachusetts.
|Alexa Meltzer continues to flourish during her senior season.|
The Jumbos (14-6, 6-3 in NESCAC), who are making their 16th appearance during the last 17 years in the NCAA Tournament, defeated No. 12 Amherst, 5-1, during the first round of the NESCAC Championship on Friday in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Junior Lauren Louks allowed the Jumbos to celebrate, clinching the match with a three-set victory, 6-1, 1-6, 7-5, over sophomore Kelsey Chen at the No. 2 singles slot.
The Jumbos have compiled a 17-15 record in the NCAA Division III Tournament, dating back to the 2000-01 season, as the squad reached the quarterfinals of the national tournament in 2010-11 under head coach Kate Bayard. The Jumbos' 14 wins this season marked the most since the 2010-11 team, which posted a 16-6 overall record.
The Jumbos will welcome five top-notch programs to their campus this weekend, featuring No. 14 Johns Hopkins (17-5, 10-0 in Centennial Conference), Ithaca (13-7, 8-0 in Empire 8 Athletic Conference), Nichols (16-3, 8-0 in Commonwealth Coast Conference), No. 32 TCNJ (14-3, 6-0 in NJAC) and Baruch (11-5, 6-0 in CUNYAC).
The Blue Jays won their 11th consecutive Centennial Conference Championship on Sunday, while the Bombers earned their 12th straight Empire 8 Athletic Conference title on Oct. 15. The Bison claimed their first conference championship since the 2010-11 season, besting Endicott, 5-0, in the title match of the Commonwealth Coast Conference on Oct. 24.
The Lions earned their 34th straight New Jersey Athletic Conference title on Sept. 17, while the Bearcats have won back-to-back City University of New York Athletic Conference titles.
The Jumbos reached the third round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, downing Colby-Sawyer, 5-0, in the second round, and then falling, 5-1, to the NESCAC Conference-rival Bowdoin in the third round.
The hosts bring a great deal of experience into the national tournament, as all 11 players from the 2015-16 squad are still on the roster. Sophomore Mina Karamercan went 13-6 on the individual side this spring, including boasting a 10-5 mark at the top slot, while Louks posted a 12-7 mark in singles and an 11-8 record in doubles, operating out of the highly-competitive No. 1 and 2 slots.
The Jumbos senior captains were instrumental as well. Conner Calabro tallied a 14-3 record in singles action and a 10-7 mark on the doubles side, while Alexa Meltzer compiled a 12-4 mark in singles and a 2-2 showing in doubles.
Tufts and Johns Hopkins have earned first-round byes, as the first-round matchups will feature Ithaca against Nichols (10 a.m.) and TCNJ against Baruch (1:30 p.m.) on Friday. Tufts will play the winner of the Ithaca and Nichols matchup in the second round on Saturday at 10 a.m., while Johns Hopkins will face off against the winner of the TCNJ and Baruch battle on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The final of the regional event will be held Sunday at 1 p.m.
Written by Trevor Wenners, Athletic Communications Intern