2014 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship gets underway Friday

SKILLMAN, NJ -- Eight of the top teams in the nation will be competing in the 2014 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship, hosted by DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Play begins on Friday, February 28 and wraps up on Monday, March 2

 

Last year, the fifth-seeded Johns Hopkins Blue Jays defeated second seed Carnegie Mellon 5-4 to take home the trophy. Johns Hopkins completed an impressive weekend in which it defeated host DePauw 6-3 and No. 1 seed Chicago 6-3 as well.     

 

Johns Hopkins, 2013 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Champions
   

The 2014 event gets underway this Friday, and the first day will feature two sessions, one at 10am CT and the other at 3:30pm CT. In the day's first session, top seed and defending champion Johns Hopkins will face eighth seed UC Santa Cruz, while fifth seed Redlands will be up against fourth seed Pomona-Pitzer. Third seed Carnegie Mellon is set to take on sixth seed Wash U-St Louis in the afternoon session, along with seventh seed and host institution DePauw going up against the second seed Chicago.

The winners of Friday's matches advance to the semifinals, which are slated for Saturday at 2pm CT. The championship match is scheduled for Sunday at 10am CT. For the complete draw, click here.

For complete coverage of the 2014 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from the weekend's events and be sure to like us on Facebook for photos and more. Use the hashtag #D3Indoors for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term "D3Indoors" to find others who are tweeting from across the nation about this year's Championship, February 28-March 2.

 

Below is an in-depth look at the eight teams competing for the 2014 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship title:

 

Carnegie Mellon

ITA Ranking: 9

Tournament Seed: 3

1st Round Opponent: Wash U - St Louis

The Carnegie Mellon University women's tennis team has dropped just one individual match in five dual matches this year, dating back to early September when the team's season began. Most recently, the Tartans have defeated two Division II teams and one Division I team on indoor courts. Carnegie Mellon, ranked ninth in the nation, is led by the regionally-ranked (No. 3) doubles pair of freshman Vanessa Pavia and junior Bryn Raschke who are 5-0 at No. 1 doubles. Pavia also plays the No. 1 singles position for the Tartans and is ranked eighth in the Atlantic South Region. Sophomore Brooke Tsu is 3-0 for the spring season in singles and is ranked 12th regionally, and 2013 All-American Katie Cecil recently returned to the lineup after an injury that kept her out all of the fall semester.

 

Chicago

ITA Ranking: 8

Tournament Seed: 2

1st Round Opponent: DePauw

The University of Chicago women's tennis team is currently ranked No. 8 in the ITA preseason poll. The Maroons return six players from last year's team that reached the NCAA quarterfinals. Chicago has reached at least the NCAA quarterfinal round for five straight years. Junior Megan Tang leads the way at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles. Tang won the USTA/ITA Central Regional Championship in singles for the second year in a row in September, defeating sophomore teammate Helen Sdvizhkov in the final. Tang also won the third-place match in the singles draw of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships in October.

 

DePauw

ITA Ranking: 13

Tournament Seed: 7

1st Round Opponent: Chicago

The 13th-ranked Tigers are making their fifth appearance in the ITA Division III Women's National Indoor Championship and are hosting for the fourth time. DePauw is off to a 5-0 start including a 6-3 win over 13th-ranked Wash U-St. Louis. In the fall, the Tigers were well-represented in the ITA Central Region Championship as three doubles teams advanced to the semifinals. Senior Caroline Emhardt and junior Maggie MacPhail won the 2013 USTA/ITA Central Regional Championship and advanced to the 2013 USTA/ITA Small College Championship where they placed sixth in the Division III bracket. Individually, the Tigers have posted a 93-42 singles record and a 55-20 doubles mark and are 15-0 in dual match doubles competition.

 

Johns Hopkins

ITA Ranking: 7

Tournament Seed: 1

1st Round Opponent: UC Santa Cruz

Last year's champion is the top seed this year. Johns Hopkins has won a record 70 consecutive regular-season Centennial Conference matches and seven straight CC titles. The Blue Jays have made the NCAA Tournament in seven straight seasons and have made back-to-back trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Last March, the Blue Jays won the ITA National Team Indoor Championship and earned the program's first-ever national No. 1 ranking. Head coach Dave Woodring has guided JHU to a 55-12 (.821) record after being promoted from assistant to head coach in 2011. Hopkins has produced 11 ITA All-Americans since 2007, including captain Hailey Hogan, who is a three-time ITA All-American selection.

 

Pomona-Pitzer 

ITA Ranking: 10

Tournament Seed: 4

1st Round Opponent: Redlands

Pomona-Pitzer enters the 2014 season ranked No. 10 in the preseason ITA Division III rankings. The Sagehens won their only dual match this spring, an 8-1 victory over Chapman last week. The team is back in the ITA National Division III Women's Team Indoor Championship for the second time after qualifying and finishing fifth in 2009. Pomona-Pitzer made the NCAA quarterfinals last season, falling to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 5-3. The doubles team of Sammy Chao and Lea Lynn Yen advanced to the USTA/ITA Small College Championships semifinals last fall. The women's tennis program has provided the Pomona-Pitzer athletic department's only team national championship, which it earned in 1992. 


UC Santa Cruz

ITA Ranking: 14

Tournament Seed: 8

1st Round Opponent: Johns Hopkins 

The women of UC Santa Cruz will make their debut at the ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship. They started the 2014 season ranked No. 14 in the preseason ITA Division III Women's Team Rankings, the same position they ended the 2012-2013 season. The team has played three matches so far this season, two against Division I teams. In its match against La Verne, a Division III school, UC Santa Cruz was competitive in eight of its nine matches, but lost the team match 8-1. The Banana Slugs are led by senior Alexandra Scotten in the first singles position. Scotten was an ITA All-American in doubles in 2012.

 

University of Redlands 

ITA Ranking: 11

Tournament Seed: 5

1st Round Opponent: Pomona-Pitzer

The 11th-ranked Redlands women's tennis team competes at the ITA National Women's Indoor Championship for the first time in program history. Led by senior Jessica Ly, who was named the 2013 ITA National and West Regional Player to Watch, the Bulldogs hold high expectations of continuing their momentum from last year's record-setting campaign. The squad returns all but one of its starters that began the 2013 season with 15 consecutive wins and finished with the most victories (20) in Redlands history. The Bulldogs also strive for improvement among the top-heavy SCIAC while advancing to the NCAA Championships for the 12th time.

 

Wash U - St. Louis

ITA Ranking: 12

Tournament Seed: 6

1st Round Opponent: Carnegie Mellon 

Washington University began the season ranked No. 12 in the ITA NCAA Division III rankings after advancing to the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals for the second time in school history last year. The Bears dropped their season opener at No. 13 DePauw University 6-3 Saturday, Feb. 16. Washington U. returned 10 letter winners from last year's team, including senior Theresa Petraskova, who won her 100th career match with her No. 3 singles victory against DePauw. Sophomore Aly Coran earned first-team all-UAA honors at No. 4 singles in 2013, and freshman Rebecca Ho is ranked No. 5 in the Central Region.

 

About the ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championships

The ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship is held annually each February. The women's event began in 2009 and will be held for the sixth time in 2014. The event features eight participating teams and is held over three days, beginning on Friday with the quarterfinals, followed by semifinals on Saturday and the final on Sunday. Two different schools have hosted the event, while Emory (2), Carnegie Mellon (1), Washington and Lee (1) and most recently Johns Hopkins (1) are past champions.  


-Stephanie Neppl, (sneppl@itatennis.com609-497 6921)