NCAA tennis: Rebels steamed

n Second-seeded Ole Miss men, champions of the SEC, must travel to LSU for regional; Ole Miss women to Atlanta.
Daily Journal reports
The Ole Miss men’s tennis team is going to its 16th straight NCAA tournament. It’s coming off a SEC tournament title and its No. 2 overall seed is the Rebels’ highest since 1997.
And the Rebels – led by their coach – aren’t happy.
The SEC champion Rebels (24-2) have to go to Baton Rouge, La., for a first- and second-round regional May 8-9. Also in the bracket are league rival LSU (10-11), Rice (17-10) and Alcorn State (5-10).
Ole Miss will play Alcorn State and LSU will play Rice in first-round matches. The winners advance to the second round the next day.
“I don’t have any idea how this happened,” coach Billy Chadwick said in a statement. “The only thing we can do is swallow the medicine, get tough and go down to Baton Rouge and take them down.”
The coach said he learned of his team’s fate about 20 minutes before the official announcement.
“We got the call … that due to regionalization and trying to keep too many teams from having to travel far, that two teams in the top six would not be hosting,” he said. “We were one of them.”
Baylor was the other, although the school is hosting a women’s tennis regional the same weekend.
“If you’re trying to grow the sport, it seems very odd that would they would have the place that is leading the nation in attendance and is No. 2 in the nation not hosting,” Caldwell said.
“It’s extremely disappointing for the players and for the community. We’ve had a great fan base all year. We’ve hosted eight years in a row, and now we have to go to Baton Rouge.”
The regional winner will play the winner of a regional at No. 15 Texas Aamp&M (15-8) on May 14 at College Station, Texas – the Aamp&M home courts.
ACC champion Virginia (29-0) is the top seed.
In all, eight SEC teams are in the 64-team field. Georgia (4), Tennessee (5), Florida (10), and Alabama (14) are also top seeds and will host regionals. South Carolina and Auburn will also participate.
n The Ole Miss women’s tennis team is a No. 2 seed at the Atlanta Regional on May 9-10. The Rebels (14-9) will play Denver (16-5) in the first round, with the winner playing No. 9 Georgia Tech (16-7) or Jackson State (5-7) the next day.
The regional winner plays at nationals May 15-19 at College Station, Texas.
Eleven SEC schools are in the field, including top seeds Georgia (2), Tennessee (10), Arkansas (14) and Florida (15). Also in the field are Kentucky, Vanderbilt, LSU, South Carolina, Auburn and Alabama.

Greg Mcilvain

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