May 9, 2012
TUSCALOSA, Ala. – Army women’s tennis is en route to Tuscaloosa, Ala., where it will face the eighth-seeded Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama in Friday’s NCAA Championship First Round match. The Black Knights are making their eighth consecutive trip to the national tournament and will be in search of their first NCAA victory when they take to the courts at the Alabama Tennis Stadium.
Army (22-6) earned the Patriot League’s automatic bid after topping Navy, 4-1, in the conference championship match. The Black Knights earned the NCAA invite for the 12th time in program history while surpassing the 20-win mark for the fifth consecutive season.
Army is 0-11 all-time in NCAA First-Round matches, including last season’s 4-0 defeat at No. 11 Virginia. The Black Knights have been shut out on all 11 occasions and will be in search of their first point when they face the Crimson Tide.
The Black Knights have had a successful week of practice, highlighted by a bevy of accolades rolling in. On Tuesday, Army collected all three major awards the Patriot League gives out as Paul Peck was named Coach of the Year, Jamila Paul was tabbed Player of the Year and Natalie Allen copped Rookie of the Year plaudits. The following day, Paul was named to the Academic All-Patriot League team.
Army’s first-time opponent Alabama (17-4) received an at-large bid to its 11th NCAA Championship. Ranked ninth in the ITA poll, the Crimson Tide’s lineup features two nationally ranked singles players and two of the top doubles pairs. At No. 1 singles, Mary Anne Macfarlane lists at No. 18 on the ITA singles poll, while the No. 2 singles player in Alex Guarachi stands at No. 46. Guarachi teams with Courtney McLane at No. 1 doubles and rank 24th in the country. Macfarlane and Antonia Foehse comprise the 44th-ranked doubles duo.
Alabama is 5-10 all-time in NCAA Championship matches with all five victories coming in the first round. The Crimson Tide defeated Utah in last season’s Round of 64 before falling to Georgia in the second round.
The Army-Alabama contest is slated for a 5 p.m. (ET) start and will follow the day’s first match between Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State (2 p.m.). The winner of both Friday matches will square off on Saturday at 2 p.m., vying for a spot in the Round of 16, hosted by the University of Georgia.
Fans can follow the Army women’s tennis match via live stats and can get more information on all first- and second-round contests at the University of Alabama by clicking here.