Baylor makes history in hosting NCAA Tennis Championships
Baylor has hosted plenty of NCAA postseason play; women’s basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, and cross country have all been privileged to play postseason regionals in front of a home crowd here in Waco. But for the first time ever, Baylor is hosting the pinnacle of an NCAA sport. The Hurd Tennis Center is the site of the 2015 NCAA Tennis Championships, May 14-25.
Here’s how the NCAA tennis tournament works: Each 64-team bracket (one for the men, one for the women) begins with 16 four-team regionals, played on college campuses around the country. Once those first- and second-round matches are completed, the remaining rounds of the tournament — from the Sweet 16 on, for both men and women — are played at a single host site. This year, that’s Baylor.
Both the Bears and Lady Bears will get to benefit from playing in front of a home crowd, as each swept through their regionals this past weekend in Waco. Head coach Matt Knoll’s men, ranked No. 2 in the nation, are into the Round of 16 for a 14th straight season, while head coach Joey Scrivano’s No. 8-seeded women have advanced to the finals site for the 10th time since 2005.
An estimated 650 student-athletes, coaches and assistants will converge on Waco beginning Thursday — shining a nice spotlight on Baylor within the tennis world, and providing an economic boost to the city. The Bears will face No. 18 South Florida Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Hurd Tennis Center, while the Lady Bears host No. 9 seed Virginia Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available now. Should inclement weather hit, the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center will be available for indoor play.
Sic ’em, Baylor tennis!