College Sports

SIUE tennis team to face defending national champs in first round of NCAA Tournament

SIUE women's tennis travels to Nashville, Tennessee to face defending national champion Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday at 4 p.m. at the Currey Tennis Center.

SIUE earned the automatic bid after winning its first-ever Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title. The team is 19-4 overall and 11-1 in the OVC, both totals are program highs in wins in the Division I era.

The squad is familiar with the Nashville area, as the OVC Tournament was held there.

"There is some familiarity with going back to Nashville, and I think that helps with coordinating travel," said SIUE head coach Nick Mueller. "Being able to drive to our regional site is nice, and the fact that it is Nashville makes it feel that much better. The area has worked out well for our team over the last three weeks. We are pretty excited to be playing against Vanderbilt."

The team is led by first team All-OVC selection Lexi Aranda, currently on a seven-match win streak from the No. 1 spot, and second team picks Mia Frogner and Madeline Hill. Hill finished the season with 31 singles wins, the most by any player at SIUE in the Division I era. Aranda recorded 25 singles wins while Frogner added 27 of her own. Monique Krutak also brings a 12-match singles win streak to Nashville from the No. 4 spot.

"This trip is the culmination of an amazing season," said Mueller. "Our team has earned the right to be playing in this tournament. The dedication shown from day one back in September has been nothing short of excellent. I couldn't be more proud of what this team has accomplished this year."

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