WT: Lady Hornets draw Vanderbilt in NCAAs
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Last season, two-time defending Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) champion Alabama State had to wait nearly the entire Selection Show last season to find out their destination. This time around, it took less than a minute as the Lady Hornets saw their name on the screen, drawing top-ranked Vanderbilt in the opening round of the NCAA Regional.
Alabama State (12-8) is making their second consecutive trip to the NCAA First and Second Rounds, traveling to Georgia Tech last season after winning the conference championship. The Lady Hornets earned the automatic bid from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) after breezing through the regular season and conference tournament undefeated against conference opponents. The Lady Hornets have won eight of their last 10 matches heading in postseason play.
Top-seeded Vanderbilt (22-3), who earned their first-ever number one seed in the tournament, won the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Tournament championship with a 4-0 victory over Florida. The Commodores finished the conference regular season with just one loss (12-1) as they dropped a match to Mississippi State on March 15 on the road – their last loss this season as they have reeled off 11 consecutive victories.
The other two teams in the bracket include Ohio State (14-8) who is making their fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and 15th appearance overall. The Buckeyes reached the semifinals of the tournament last season after a quarterfinal appearance in 2016. Clemson (13-13) also joins the regional, qualifying for the 17th year in a row and the 19th time in 21 years. The trip to Nashville will be the third consecutive year that Clemson will travel to Nashville for the NCAA First and Second Rounds.
Ironically, the region features two national championship coaches as Alabama State head coach Anuk Christiansz and Clemson coach Nancy Harris each won NAIA national championships at Auburn University Montgomery.
Alabama State opens the tournament against top-ranked Vanderbilt Friday, May 11 at 2 pm (cst) in Nashville.
Courtesy of Alabama State Strategic Communications