INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- After winning its 10th-straight SCAC Men’s Tennis Championship, the Trinity Tigers booked their ticket to compete in the 43-team NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championships, which is set to begin with the first-third round matchups this weekend, May 9-11. Interactive Bracket | NCAA Release
Trinity, which enters the NCAA Tournament as the 13th-ranked team in the ITA National Poll and second in the ITA West Regional Poll, will be competing in the national tournament for the 10th year in a row and the 26th time in program history. The Tigers won the NCAA Div. III Men’s Tennis national championship in 2000 and finished third in 2014, while their 2018 appearance resulted in an exit after the third round with a 5-1 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
The teams will play a single-elimination tournament with the first, second and third rounds played at regional sites, Friday through Sunday, May 10-12, or Thursday through Saturday, May 9-11. Kalamazoo College will host the team championships finals, which will be held May 20-22 at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Student-athletes selected to the individual championships will be announced Wednesday, May 8.
Trinity received a first-round bye and will open play on Friday at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in Claremont, Calif., against Whitman (WA) College. Whitman, ranked 26th in the most recent ITA National Poll and sixth in the ITA West Regional Poll, earned the Northwest Conference’s automatic qualifying bid after defeating George Fox, 6-0, in the conference title match to improve to 12-10 on the season. The winner of the Trinity/Whitman contest will take on the winner of host Claremont-M-S (29-1) and UT-Dallas (16-1) in the regional finals on Saturday with a trip to the national quarterfinal round on the line.
Trinity, which is seeking its 40th NCAA Tournament victory, is facing off against Whitman for the second time in national tournament history. The Tigers defeated the Blues, 5-0, in the 2004 West Regional finals.
The championships provide for a 43-team tournament. Automatic qualification (AQ) is granted to 35 conference champions, which form "Pool A." Three teams will be selected from true independents and schools from conferences that do not have an automatic bid for their champions (Pool B). The remaining five teams are selected from those teams in conferences with automatic bids that did not win their conference's AQ and the remaining Pool B institutions (Pool C). The teams are geographically paired, whenever possible.
Middlebury is the defending national champion, having defeated Bowdoin, 5-3, to claim the team title.