KANSAS CITY, Mo. ----- The top-ranked Auburn University at Montgomery women's tennis team received a bye in the opening round and will begin its national championship defense on Wednesday, May 16 at 9 a.m., the NAIA announced today when it released the official bracket for the Women's Tennis National Championships.
The Warhawks (22-2) will await the winner of Tuesday's opening round match between Xavier (La.) and Vanguard (Calif.). Xavier, which sports just a 7-21 record and was defeated 7-2 by AUM earlier this season, earned its berth in the tournament by winning the AAC/Independent/GCAC/TranSouth Unaffiliated Group Tournament championship, while Vanguard (9-14) captured the final at-large berth in the field.
The AUM women are making their 13th appearance in the national tournament and sport a phenomenal 45-3 all-time mark in the event. The Warhawks have won 11 national championships, including seven of the last eight.
Two-time First-Team All-American and Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year Ana Veselinovic leads the Warhawks, entering the tournament as the NAIA's top-ranked singles player according to the International Tennis Association. The senior also teams with Jade Curtis to form the nation's top doubles duo. On the season, Veselinovic sports a 21-2 singles record and a flawless 24-0 doubles record.
Kveta Hajkova and Curtis each finished the regular season undefeated in singles play, posting records of 24-0 and 20-0, respectively. Newcomer Tiffany William has been a model of consistency for the Warhawks, posting a 20-2 singles record and 16-6 doubles mark in her first season with the program.
The single elimination, head-to-head tournament will commence with eight first-round matchups on May 15 starting at 9 a.m. The top-eight seeds received a first-round bye and will begin action on May 16 at 9 a.m. The event culminates on May 19 with the championship final slated for 10 a.m.
Complete Tournament Schedule
First Round - Tuesday, May 15
Match 1 - No. 16 Vanguard (Calif.) vs. No. 17 Xavier (La.), 9 a.m.
Match 2 - No. 9 William Carey (Miss.) vs. No. 24 Indiana Southeast, 9 a.m.
Match 3 - No. 12 Shorter (Ga.) vs. No. 21 Bethel (Kan.), 9 a.m.
Match 4 - No. 13 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) vs. No. 20 Nebraska Wesleyan, 9 a.m.
Match 5 - No. 14 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) vs. No. 19 Northwestern Ohio, 9 a.m.
Match 6 - No. 11 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) vs. No. 22 Spring Hill (Ala.), 9 a.m.
Match 7 - No. 10 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) vs. No. 23 Missouri Valley, 9 a.m.
Match 8 - No. 15 Indiana Wesleyan vs. No. 18 Robert Morris (Ill.), 9 a.m.
Second Round - Wednesday, May 16
Match 9 - No. 1 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) vs. Match 1 winner, 9 a.m.
Match 10 - No. 8 Concordia (Calif.) vs. Match 2 winner, 9 a.m.
Match 11 - No. 5 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) vs. Match 3 winner, 9 a.m.
Match 12 - No. 4 Oklahoma Christian vs. Match 4 winner, 9 a.m.
Match 13 - No. 3 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) vs. Match 5 winner, 9 a.m.
Match 14 - No. 6 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) vs. Match 6 winner, 9 a.m.
Match 15 - No. 7 Brenau (Ga.) vs. Match 7 winner, 9 a.m.
Match 16 - No. 2 Fresno Pacific (Calif.) vs. Match 8 winner, 9 a.m.
Quarterfinals - Thursday, May 17
Match 17 - Match 9 Winner vs. March 10 Winner, 9 a.m.
Match 18 - Match 11 Winner vs. March 12 Winner, 9 a.m.
Match 19 - Match 13 Winner vs. March 14 Winner, 9 a.m.
Match 20 - Match 15 Winner vs. March 16 Winner, 9 a.m.
Semifinals - Friday, May 18
Match 21 - Match 17 Winner vs. March 18 Winner, 9 a.m.
Match 22 - Match 19 Winner vs. March 20 Winner, 9 a.m.
Championship Match - Saturday, May 19
Match 23 - Match 21 Winner vs. March 22 Winner, 10 a.m.