The 24-team field is comprised of 13 squads who earned an automatic berth by winning their respective conference/independent/unaffiliated group tournaments, 10 at-large selections and one host berth, which went to Mobile (Ala.). The 10 at-large selections were determined by the final NAIA Women's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 Poll released Monday.
The single elimination, head-to-head tournament will commence with eight first-round matchups on May 14 starting at 1 p.m. CDT. The top-eight seeds received a first-round bye and will begin action on May 15 at 1 p.m. The event concludes on May 18 with the championship final slated for 1 p.m.
Second-seeded and defending national champion Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) leads all qualifiers with 12 national championships all-time, including eight of the last nine and ten since the team head-to-head format began in 2000. Besides Auburn Montgomery, Brenau (Ga.), Mobile (Ala.), Northwood (Fla.) and Westmont (Calif.) are the only teams in this year’s field to win a national title.
Two programs, Auburn Montgomery and Indiana Wesleyan have made the field every single year since the championship moved to a team format in 2000. A total of seven schools will be appearing at the national championship for at least the 10th time since 2000. Fourteen of the 24 qualifiers return to the event after appearing last season.
On the other hand, five squads will make their first-ever appearance at the National Championships: Coastal Georgia, Davenport (Mich.), Evangel (Mo.), Oklahoma Baptist and SCAD Atlanta (Ga.). A total of eight teams will be seeking their first wins on the national championship.
The Southern States Athletic Conference lead all leagues with five members each in the field of 24, while The Sun Conference and Golden State Athletic Conference follow with three teams each.