Dates, Format & Sites: The teams play a single-elimination tournament with the first, second and third rounds played at regional sites, May 2-4. Gustavus Adolphus College will host the team championships finals, which will be held May 13-15 at the Swanson Tennis Center in Saint Peter, Mnnesota. The 32-player singles and 16-team doubles championships follow May 16-18.
Official Website:NCAASports.com for the draws and latest scores the Gustavus Adolphus websitefor coverage from the final rounds and singles and doubles championships at Gustavus Adolphus. The singles and doubles finals will be videostreamed live on May 18.
Top Seeds:No. 1 Washington & Lee, No. 2 Amherst, No. 3 Williams, No. 4 Emory, No. 5 Denison, No. 6 Mary Washington, No. 7 Carnegie Mellon and No. 8 DePauw. Coach Eric Ishida has led top-seeded Washington & Lee to a 24-0 record entering the NCAA Championships. W&L has was 36 straight matches dating back to last season (a March 31, 2007 loss to Williams) and owns five wins over teams seeded in the top eight.
Defending Champs:Washington & Lee captured its first NCAA title during coach Cinda Rankin's final season at the helm. W&L beat Amherst 5-2 in the final in Fredericksburg, Va.. It was W&L's third straight final appearance and fourth in five years. DePauw senior Liz Bondi captured the singles title and Amherst's Alicia Menezes and Brittany Berckes won the doubles title.
Top Players:The ITA releases regional rankings during the spring and the top-ranked players in each region entering the NCAAs are: Amherst's Brittany Berckes (Northeast), Washington & Lee's Katie Tabb (Atlantic South), Wheaton's Jordan Hook (Central) and Pomona-Pitzer's Siobhane Finicane.
In the ITA Rankings:In the lastest ITA Rankings (which can differ from NCAA seeding) Washington & Lee is No. 1, followed by No. 2 Williams, No. 3 Amherst, No. 4 Emory, No. 5 Denison, No. 6 Mary Washington, No. 7 Carnegie Mellon, No. 8 DePauw, No. 9 Wellesley, No. 10 Pomona-Pitzer, No. 11 Tufts, No. 12 Bowdoin, No. 13 Middlebury, No. 14 Redlands, No. 15 Washington (Mo.), No. 16 Gustavus Adolphus, No. 17 Wheaton (Ill.), No. 18 Coe, No. 19 Trinity (Texas) and No. 20 Univ. of the South (Tenn.).
History/Trends:NCAA Division III tennis went its first 18 years without a repeat champion. However a new trend has developed starting with Williams (2001-02) and Emory (2003-06) winning consecutive titles. Unbeaten and No. 1 Washington & Lee is looking to continue this new string of repeat champions.
2008 ITA National & Regional Award Winners:Regional winners were announced May 6 and the national winners will be announced May 15. List
2008 In Review:Almost one year to the date of its last loss, Washington & Lee edged visiting Williams 5-4. The difference was No. 4 singles where W&L's Leah Weston beat Ashley Parsons 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4) ... Pomona-Pitzer coach Ann Lebedeff captured her 500th career victory in April ... Reaching as high as No. 6 Carnegie Mellon has climbed to the highest national ranking in program history this season...Last fall the College of New Jersey's Jackie Shtemberg beat Pomona-Pitzer's Siobhane Finicane 6-3, 6-4 to win the singles title at the ITA National Small College Championships. Finicane and Olivia Muesse captured the ITA doubles title, beating Trinity's Alicia Hunt and Laura Steinmetz 7-6, 6-3.
A Look Back at 2007:Emory's drive for a fifth straight NCAA title was ended by the University of the South in a regional final. Washington & Lee beat Amherst in the final after both beat Williams and the Univ. of the South in the semifinals, respectively.
For ITA Coaches:The ITA Coaches Annex Meeting will take place Thurs., May 15 - 9:30 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, Room 317, in Mankato, Minn.