The Kenyon men’s tennis team will travel to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, for its opening weekend of action in the 2017 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championships. The Lords secured their spot in the 43-team tournament after winning their 11th-straight NCAC title in late April. The appearance in the NCAA Tournament is the Lords’ 16th-straight and 21st overall. The Lords will enter the national tournament on a seven-match winning streak, with their last loss coming on April 1st against nationally-ranked Carnegie Mellon by a slim 5-4 margin.
The teams will play a single-elimination tournament with the first-, second- and third-rounds played at regional sites, Thursday-Saturday, May 11-13, or Friday-Sunday, May 12-14. University of the South and the Chattanooga Sports Commission will host the team championship finals, which will be held May 22-27 at The Champions Tennis Club in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Student-athletes selected to the individual championships will be announced Wednesday, May 10.
Five total teams will be competing at the Washington (MO) pod, with Wheaton (IL) (17-7) and Rose-Hulman (19-8) opening play on Thursday with an opening-round match that will see the winner square off against the host Bears (16-4) on Friday in the second round. In the other second-round match on Friday, Kenyon (13-10) will match up against Kalamazoo (18-1), with a spot in Saturday’s third-round match on the line. Both of Friday’s winners will meet on Saturday with a trip to the national quarterfinal round on the line.
The championship provides for a 43-team tournament. Automatic qualification (AQ) is granted to 35 conference champions, which form “Pool A.” Two teams are selected from true independents and schools from conferences that do not have an automatic bid for their champions (Pool B). The remaining six 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.
Bowdoin is the defending national champion, having defeated Middlebury, 5-0, to claim the 2016 team title.