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ST. PETER, MINN. - Gustavus Adolphus College is set to host the inaugural Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Division III Women's Team Indoor Championship, scheduled to take place on February 27-March 1, 2009 at the Swanson Tennis Center in St. Peter, Minnesota. Eight of the top 20 teams in Division III women’s tennis will play off to determine the event’s first champion.

Joining Gustavus (#18 in the current Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings), is Denison (#3), Emory University (#5), Mary Washington (#6), Pomona-Pitzer (#7), Carnegie Mellon (#8), DePauw (#12), and Coe College (#19).

"The ITA is delighted to add a very special event to our calendar," ITA Executive Director David A Benjamin said. "We are excited to be able to have another championship at Gustavus Adolphus, which has done such an outstanding job hosting numerous important tournaments over the years."

The tournament will begin on Friday morning with #1 seed Denison facing #8 Coe College and #4 Pomona-Pitzer will battle #5 Carnegie Mellon at 11:30 a.m. In the afternoon, #2 Emory plays #7 DePauw and #3 Mary Washington takes on #6 Gustavus Adolphus. The afternoon matches are slated to begin at 5:00 p.m. Saturday's schedule has the losers of Friday's matches playing in consolation matches beginning at 8:30 a.m., while the winners will play in semifinal matches beginning at 2:00 p.m. The final Consolation rounds are slated to start at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The third place and championship matches will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.

The format will consist of four teams playing three dual matches on three days while the other four play on two days. Each dual is played to completion on three courts, starting with doubles, followed by two rounds of singles. Singles are two out of three sets, except when the dual match has been decided. Then a third-set super-breaker is used.

Many of the top players in Division III will be taking part in the tournament including six singles players currently ranked in the top five regionally. Some of the top ranked players include Lauren Chen of Carnegie Mellon, Lorne McManigle of Emory, Rebecca Lange of Pomona-Pitzer, Janelle Arita of DePauw, Zahra Dawson of Emory and Megan Damico of Denison.

In doubles play, seven teams participating in the championship are currently ranked in the top five regionally. Among these tandems are Kristin Cobb and Marta Drane of Dension, Greer Mackie and Kayla Smith of DePauw, McManigle and Sabra Rogers, Megan Lawlor and Rebecca Morse-Karzen of Mary Washington, Sara Vrabec and Lindsay Reidenbach of Emory, Molly Fiala and Andrea Schupach of Coe College and Chen and Amanda Wu of Carnegie Mellon.

This newest addition to the ITA national tournament calendar joins its men's counterpart, the ITA National Division III Men's Team Indoor Championships, which was also hosted by Gustavus Adolphus last weekend, February 20-22 at the Swanson Tennis Center in St. Peter, Minn.