Spring Season Continues at ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Northwestern
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s tennis team travels to Evanston, Ill., for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kick-Off Weekend, Jan. 24-25. The No. 44 Wildcats open play against No. 21 Rice Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.
Viewed as one of the toughest of 15 opening-round sites in the ITA Kick-off, the field also includes No. 17 Northwestern and No. 32 Arizona State. NU and ASU meet Saturday at 11 a.m., with the winner facing the winner of the UK-RU match. The winner of each group advances to the ITA National Indoor Championships in February, hosted by the University of Virginia.
The ITA Kick-Off Weekend features 15 four-team tournaments. In UK’s group, Northwestern, the host team, faces fourth-seeded Arizona State, and the No. 2 seed, Rice plays third-seeded Kentucky. The winners of those matches will play for a berth in the National Indoor Championships, and the losers compete in a consolation match.
Last season, the Wildcats made the tournament for the first time since 2010 and traveled to Durham, N.C. UK opened the ITA Kick-Off Weekend with a 4-1 win over Tulane before falling to No. 10 Duke, 4-0.
This year marks the third time UK has competed in the ITA event since the kick-off weekend’s inception in 2009.
The first ITA Kick-Off Weekend event was held in 2009 as qualifiers for the ITA Division I National Team Indoor Championships. A total of 60 teams compete for 15 spots in the Championships, with spot reserved for the host institution. After Kick-Off Weekend host sites are announced, a draft is held with schools selecting which site to play at in order of their final national rankings the previous season.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky women’s tennis team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info, notes and behind-the-scenes updates, follow the team on Twitter at @UKWomensTennis.