Vanderbilt tennis teams earn NCAA tournament invitations

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 12:05am

The Vanderbilt men's and women's tennis teams were selected for their respective NCAA tournaments on Tuesday.

It was 18th consecutive NCAA bid for the women, who were were shipped to Los Angeles for a West Regional. There they face possible a first ever matchup with host Southern Cal, the No. 5 national seed.

The Commodores, ranked 23rd, open against San Diego in its opening match May 11, while USC faces Fairfield in the other semifinal. Winners face each other the following day.

"San Diego is rock solid, they beat Pepperdine to win their conference championship,'' coach Geoff MacDonald said. "They have a very good team. If we are fortunate enough to win that, it would be very exciting and a great challenge to play Southern Cal, a team we haven't met before. They have several national titles and a long and great tradition.

"We've had a tough year, but our girls have fought their way through it. We have some great fighters and a lot of accomplishments. We had a close match with Georgia. We've been playing very well lately."

When NCAA individual bids go out Wednesday afternoon, it appears certain that Commodore ace Jackie Wu and the Wu-Lauren Mira doubles team will be invited. Region winners qualify for the National round of 16 in Athens, Ga., May 17-22.

Vanderbilt's men received their 11th bid in program history.

Coach Ian Duvenhage's team was sent to the Columbus Region where it will meet Notre Dame in the first round, either May 11 or 12. Host Ohio State, the No. 5 national seed, will play East Tennessee State in the other semifinal. Winners square off the next day.

The Commodores gained a bid possibly on the strength of a tight 4-3, four-hour win over LSU in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament.

• Vanderbilt women golfers get bid: The Vanderbilt women's golf team received its 13th straight bid to the NCAA tournament and 14th overall. The Commodores were one of 24 teams the committee sent to the Central Region in Columbus, Ohio May 10-12.

"We're excited about going to the Central Region,'' coach Greg Allen said. "We set up our schedule each year against the best competition available. Our young ladies will be up for the challenge.''

Vanderbilt has extra motivation this season. The top 24 teams (eight from each region) qualify for the NCAA Nationals which are scheduled for the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., May 22-25.