NCAA PREVIEW: #6 Amherst to Face NESCAC Foe, #3 Middlebury, in Quarterfinals Tilt

NCAA PREVIEW: #6 Amherst to Face NESCAC Foe, #3 Middlebury, in Quarterfinals Tilt

KALAMAZOO TOURNAMENT CENTRAL
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET

AMHERST, Mass. – After sweeping both matches in the opening rounds of 2019 NCAA DIII Championship, the No. 6 Amherst women's tennis return to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season and will face conference foe, Middlebury, on May 20th in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The final three rounds of the 2019 NCAA Championship will be hosted by Kalamazoo College from May 20th- 23rd. The individual competition will commence on Friday, May 24th and will conclude with the doubles and singles finals on May 26th.

The battle between the Mammoths and No. 3 Middlebury will be a rematch of the NCAA Tournament regional finals of the 2017 championship where the Panthers claimed a 5-0 win over the Mammoths to advance to the quarterfinals. The contingents are set to begin after 11:00 AM on May 20th.

Following the team competition, the three Amherst all-conference honorees, Jackie Bukzin '22, Kelsey Chen '19 and Camille Smukler '20, will take the courts for the singles and doubles tournament. Bukzin will pair up with Kelsey Chen '19 for doubles action while Smukler and Bukzin will take on the field for singles play.  

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Matches will be played at both Stowe Stadium at Kalamazoo College and Sorensen Courts at Western Michigan University.

There is no charge for admission to any matches at the 2019 NCAA Division III Tennis Championship.

Monday, May 20th: Quarterfinals

8:30 AM – Emory vs. Chicago, Stowe
8:30 AM – Wesleyan vs. MIT, WMU
Not Before 11:00 AM – CMS vs. Carnegie Mellon, Stowe
Not Before 11:00 AM – Middlebury vs. Amherst, WMU

Tuesday, May 21st: Semifinals

8:30 AM – (Emory/Chicago vs. Amherst/Middlebury), Stowe
Not Before 11:00 AM – (Wesleyan/MIT vs. CMS/Carnegie Mellon), Stowe

Wednesday, May 22nd: Championship

10:00 AM – Women's Tennis Championship, Stowe Stadium

LIVE STATS

There will be live stats for all of the team and individual matches. Video will be available for some of the matches.

CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

Amherst (14-5) returned to the NCAA tournament for the 25th consecutive year after earning an at-large bid. For the 16th consecutive year, the Mammoths have earned a first round bye and advanced to the third round after downing the College of New Jersey (TCNJ) by a 5-0 margin. In the Regional Finals, Amherst kept rolling as they swept Johns Hopkins 5-0 to punch their ticket to the championship site.

The Mammoths hold the first ever national championship in Amherst history with a 5-2 win over Williams in the 1999 national championship. The Purple & White have marked 15 quarterfinal appearances and nine within the last 10 years.

SETTING THE SCENE

Amherst and Middlebury met during the regular season with the Panthers coming out on top with a 9-0 victory before meeting a week later in the semifinals of the NESCAC Tournament where the Mammoths also fell by a 5-0 margin.

AMHERST COLLEGE MAMMOTHS
(14-5 Overall, NR: 6th) – Schedule Roster Statistics

Amherst records their 15th national quarterfinal appearance after refusing to give up a point in the second and third round of the NCAA Tournament.  The Mammoths kicked off their spring stint with a four-match win streak in Florida, before dropping to the No. 1 ranked Emory Eagles. After returning to northeast, the Purple & White claimed two out of their three opening conference match ups, downing Trinity and Colby by an 8-1 margin.

The Mammoths enter their third match up with the Panthers with a 67-33 dual match record and a 37-20 mark in doubles action. Amherst is led by the number one doubles team in the region, Chen and Bukzin, as the tandem has recorded a 10-4 overall record in dual match action. Bukzin, the 2019 NESCAC Rookie of the Year and ITA Champion, is ranked third in the nation for singles and has accrued a 20-6 overall record as the No. 1 player for Amherst.

Smukler, the 2018 ITA Player to Watch, has held down the No. 2 spot for the Mammoths this season. The Villanova, Pennsylvania native has only dropped two matches at the second spot and maintains an 11-4 overall dual match record and is ranked ninth in the region for singles. In the bottom of the ladder, Claire Evans '22 has been the deciding factor in the last two sweeps for the Mammoths, clinching the fifth win in both matches. The first-year holds an impressive undefeated record (7-0) at number five, while notching a 13-3 overall record.

THE FIELD

After marking an undefeated NESCAC record during the regular season, Middlebury found themselves in the conference championship for the fourth consecutive year but fell to Wesleyan by a 5-2 margin. After an at-large bid and a first round bye, the Panthers swept opponents Moravian and Tufts in the second and third round to clinch a ticket to their fifth-straight NCAA Quarterfinal. Middlebury is the #3 team in the country and enters the quarterfinals with an 18-2 overall record, including an undefeated 8-0 mark during the regular season.

Emory enters the quarterfinals of the national championship for their 12th consecutive year and 29th overall after defeating Washington and Lee University, 5-0, in the regional finals. The Eagles are ranked No. 1 in the nation and boast a 19-3 overall record. Emory clinched their seventh consecutive University Athletic Association (UAA) title after edging the University of Chicago, 5-4, to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The Eagles and Mammoths met in the beginning of the spring in Florida when Emory handed the Purple & White their first loss on the season with an 8-1 triumph.

It will be another conference showdown as the top two teams in the UAA are slated to face each other in quarterfinals action. The UAA runner-up, University of Chicago , will take the courts with a conference final rematch in mind as they battle the Eagles after earning an at-large bid into the tournament. The No. 12 Maroon claimed their fourth-straight regional title after sweeping No. 27 Carleton College and have qualified for the NCAA tournament in the last 11-consecutive seasons.

No. 4 Wesleyan advanced to their second-straight NCAA Quarterfinals, and second in program history, with a 5-1 victory over No. 8 Brandeis in the regional finals. The Cardinals enter their match up with a nine match win streak and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the fourth-consecutive year via an automatic bid from winning their first ever NESCAC Championship. No. 15 Victoria Yu leads the team at number one with a 10-5 dual match record while No. 4 ranked Venia Yeung boasts an 8-2 record at number two.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will serve as the Cardinals competitors in the opening round at the championship site as the Engineers earned their second-straight Elite Eight appearance after holding off No. 7 Bowdoin by a score of 5-3 in the regional finals. MIT defeated Babson in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship to capture their fourth consecutive conference championship, earning an automatic bid and first round bye in the NCAA tournament. No. 30 Libby Rickeman holds a 14-7 overall record as the No. 1 player for the Engineers while No. 7 Viktoriya Tabunschchyk maintains a 10-2 mark at number two.

An eighth-straight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) champion, the No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's tennis team earned their automatic bid into the tournament after a dominant 5-0 win over No. 5 Pomona-Pitzer in the conference championship. The Athenas served as the regional hosts and took down UT Dallas and Pomona-Pitzer to earn the regional title for the eighth year in a row. Catherine Allen, the No. 26 ranked singles player, look to lead the team with a 13-1 record at number one as CMS aims to defend their 2018 National Championship title.

The Athenas will match up against No. 11 Carnegie Mellon who has appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 14 out of the last 15 years. The Tartans saw their conference run come up short after No. 1 Emory posted a 5-1 triumph in the semifinals of the UAA Championship. Carnegie Mellon advanced to the quarterfinals for the sixth time in program history after sweeping both opening round matches, downing Wheaton College (Ill.) and clinching the regional title after halting Kenyon, 5-0. Number six ranked Danna Taylor holds an overall 28-8 record on the season and a 16-5 record at number one in dual match action.