Costa Mesa, Calif. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced the qualifiers and bracket for the 2012 NAIA Women's Tennis National Championships this week after the release of the final NAIA poll of the season. No. 15-ranked Vanguard University, 2012 GSAC Champion Fresno Pacific, and three other Golden State Athletic Conference women's tennis teams will represent the GSAC at the NAIA Championships, to be held from May 15-19 at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama. The Vanguard Lions have drawn Xavier University of Louisiana as a first-round opponent in the 32nd Annual NAIA Women's Tennis Championships.
The Vanguard women remained fifteenth in the final NAIA poll and claimed the tenth and final at-large berth into the 24-team tournament as the Lions make the program's tenth consecutive NAIA Tournament appearance and eleventh overall. The top eight seeds earn a first-round bye, but the Lions will have to win their way to Wednesday's second-round action as they take on Xavier (La.), who qualified by winning the AAC/Independent/TranSouth Unaffiliated Group Tournament Championship. Xavier enters the NAIA event with an overall record of 7-21, with one of those losses coming against Vanguard earlier in the season. This will be Xavier's first NAIA appearance since 2010.
Making it to at least the quarterfinal round from 2004-2010, the Lions were eliminated early last year breaking an impressive streak matched by only one other team. VU enters the 2012 NAIA Championships with an overall record of 9-14 after finishing in fifth place (8-8) in the extremely competitive GSAC, which boasts six teams ranked in the top 20.
Led by All-GSAC senior Gabriela Bergmanova, also recently selected as Vanguard University's Female Athlete of the Year, the sixteenth-seeded Lions are hoping for their second win of the season against seventeenth-seeded Xavier, and need a first-round victory in order to gain a second-round matchup against top-seeded Auburn-Montgomery (Ala.).
The 2012 NAIA Women's Tennis National Championships will be 24-team, single elimination, dual match tournament, beginning with first-round matches on Tuesday, May 15th and the national championship is set for Saturday, May 19th. Seeds 9-24 will contest first-round matches as the top eight seeds draw a bye on Tuesday. The Lions leave this weekend for Mobile with the pre-tournament banquet on schedule for Monday evening.
Complete tournament information and brackets can be located on the NAIA website as well as the most up to date match-by-match scores. VU's tournament results can be followed on VU's women's tennis pages as soon as the information becomes available. Thanks for following Vanguard athletics and GO LIONS !!