Wildcats Face Ohio State in NCAA First Round; Head to Northwestern

April 28, 2009

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 2009 NCAA Women's Tennis Championship bracket was announced Tuesday afternoon on ESPNews. Kentucky's No. 26 Wildcats (12-10) will travel to Evanston, Ill., to face No. 37 Ohio State (15-10) in the NCAA First Round at host school Northwestern. UK is seeded second with the No. 1 Northwestern Wildcats taking the obvious first seed position. Competition is set to begin on Friday, May 8 with times to be announced. Northwestern will face No. 72 Miami University (16-6) in the first round of competition.

UK has participated in the NCAA Tournament a total of 19 times since 1986 with 2009 being the team's 13th consecutive trip. The team's best finish was in 1988 and again in 2005 when the Cats reached the tournament quarterfinals. Last year the Wildcats suffered a heartbreaking loss to Vanderbilt, 4-3, in the second round of the tournament in Nashville, Tenn.

This season Kentucky has faced two of the three other schools attending the first two rounds hosted by Northwestern. The Wildcats had a close call with the Buckeyes as they defeated Ohio State 4-3 in Lexington with a third set win on court five by freshman Caroline Lilley. The Miami RedHawks also saw action in the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex as the Blue and White took a 5-2 win. Kentucky last saw Northwestern at the 2006 National Indoor Tournament falling 5-2.

Top-ranked NU enters the 2009 tournament with an almost perfect record of 25-1. The Wildcats finished their conference scheduled 10-0 and clinched their 11th straight league title. Northwestern is riding a 17-match winning streak. The Miami University RedHawks will make their first tournament appearance on an automatic bid as conference champions. MU recently defeated Western Michigan 4-0 to claim the Mid-American Conference title and keep the team's winning streak alive at 12.

The successor of both rounds will advance to the "Sweet Sixteen" in College Station, Texas, hosted by Texas A&M on May 15 through May 19.

Kentucky is led by Lilley and junior Christine Johnston with 14 and 13 wins, respectively. Lilley pairs with senior Carolina Escamilla as the Cats' top doubles pair and are ranked No. 36 in the nation.