By Nikki Sherrill, Athletic Communications and Media Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially announced the 24-team field for the 37th Annual NAIA Women's Tennis National Championship. For the 14th-straight year, the event will be held at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala., from May 16 – 20. The official championship seeds and bracket will be announced Tuesday by 5 p.m. CDT.
The field consists of 14 automatic berths, including one host berth, and nine at-large selections. Automatic qualification is given to conference and unaffiliated grouping tournament champions and runners-up, depending on the conference. For the first year, at-large teams were determined by the NAIA Tennis National Selection Committee (NSC). The NSC consists of one representative from each geographic area, a representative from the National Administrative Council (NAC) Rules and Ratings Committee, the president of the Tennis Coaches Association and two at-large members. The committee evaluated teams throughout the year on various criteria. Mobile (Ala.) received the host berth.
Defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Georgia Gwinnett headlines the field after earning an at-large berth. The two-time title winner finished the season with an unblemished 22-0 record and is looking to win its third-ever national championship in just three appearances in Mobile. The Grizzlies are only in their fourth year as a program.
Indiana Wesleyan leads all qualifiers with now 18 appearances. The Wildcats own a 19-3 overall record at the national championship. Seven other programs – Keiser (Fla.), Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Mobile (Ala.), Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), SCAD Savannah (Ga.) and Xavier (La.) are the only other programs in the field with more than 10 appearances.
Three teams will be competing in their first-ever national championship – Campbellsville (Ky.), Cumberlands (Ky.) and San Diego Christian (Calif.).
The Mid-South Conference leads all groups with four programs earning a qualification.
Keiser (Fla.) (formerly Northwood) and Georgia Gwinnett are the only teams in the field with a national championship to their name.
Seventeen teams return from the 2016 field.
For more information on the 2017 NAIA Women's Tennis National Championship, click here.
2017 NAIA Women's Tennis National Championship Qualifiers
|School||Qualification||2017 Record||Apearances||Last Time||NC Record||Titles|
|Asbury (Kan.)||River States Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||12-3||2||2016||0-1||0|
|Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||15-5||4||2016||3-3||0|
|Hastings (Neb.)||Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||9-7||2||2000||0-1||0|
|Indiana Wesleyan||Crossroads League Tournament Champion||19-3||18||2016||12-17||0|
|Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||At-Large||7-13||16||2015||11-5||0|
|Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||Mid-South Conference Tournament Champion||19-4||13||2016||22-12||0|
|LSU Alexandria (La.)||Unaffiliated Group - Red River/Sooner/AII Tournament Champion||17-3||3||2016||1-2||0|
|McPherson (Kan.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||9-2||4||2016||0-3||0|
|Mobile (Ala.)||Host Berth||22-4||12||2016||2-11||0|
|Northwestern Ohio||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||19-5||5||2016||2-4||0|
|Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||At-Large||10-11||11||2016||3-10||0|
|San Diego Christian (Calif.)||Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||15-3||1||N/A||0-0||0|
|SCAD Atlanta (Ga.)||Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||12-6||3||2015||1-2||0|
|SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||The Sun Conference Tournament Champion||15-3||13||2016||12-13||0|
|William Carey (Miss.)||Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||17-3||6||2016||6-5||0|
|William Woods (Mo.)||Unaffiliated Group - AMC/Heart Tournament Champion||11-9||2||2016||2-1||0|
^Since team format began in 2000