GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum women's tennis team has earned the number two seed and will host Carson-Newman in a South Atlantic Conference Championship tournament quarterfinal match on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. at the Nichols Tennis Complex.
The Pioneers completed one of the finest regular seasons in program history, compiling a 19-1 overall record and finishing second in the SAC with a league record of 9-1. The only blemish on the Tusculum schedule was a 6-3 loss to Wingate last Monday afternoon, which gave the Bulldogs their eighth consecutive SAC championship and sixth straight unbeaten league season. Tusculum is ranked 14th in the latest Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II rankings and is second in the most-recent NCAA Division II Southeast Region poll.
Carson-Newman, which is the seventh seed, went 7-9 overall and 4-6 in the conference during the 2018 season. The Eagles lost to the Pioneers 9-0 at home last Tuesday afternoon, but earned their first berth in the SAC tournament since the 2010 season.
The Pioneers have qualified for the SAC tournament each year since joining the league for the 1999-2000 season, and will be making their 19th straight appearance. Tusculum has won four SAC tournament champions - 2004, 2008, 2014 and 2017. Last year, the Pioneers won three matches in three days to claim the SAC championship, beating Wingate 5-4 in the finals.
Tusculum is 2-0 all-time against Carson-Newman in the SAC Tournament, winning in the first round in 2001 and in the championship match in 2008. The Pioneers are 19-7 all-time against the Eagles, winning the last nine meetings since a loss in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional tournament in 2009.
The SAC tournament has expanded from six to eight teams this season, resulting in a quarterfinal round at campus sites on Tuesday. The four winners will gather at the Cayce Tennis Center in Columbia, South Carolina for semifinal matches on Friday, with the championship match set for Saturday. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
South Atlantic Conference Women's Tennis Championship
Quarterfinals - Tuesday, April 17 at higher seeds
#8 Lenoir-Rhyne at #1 Wingate, TBA
#7 Carson-Newman at #2 Tusculum, 3:15 p.m.
#6 Anderson at #3 Queens, TBA
#5 Lincoln Memorial at #4 Newberry, 11 a.m.
Semifinals - Friday, April 20 at Cayce Tennis Center
Lenoir-Rhyne/Wingate winner vs. Lincoln Memorial/Newberry winner, 9 a.m.
Carson-Newman/Tusculum vs. Anderson/Queens winner, 9 a.m.
Finals - Saturday, April 21 at Cayce Tennis Center
Semifinal winners, 9 a.m.