WINTER PARK, Fla. – Barry University men's and women's tennis teams will compete in the Sunshine State Conference Championships beginning Thursday at Rollins College.
Both the men’s and women’s conference tournament champions will earn automatic qualifiers to the 2014 NCAA Division II National Tennis Championships.
The SSC is one of the elite NCAA Division II conferences in tennis. The league consists of five top-10 ranked women’s teams in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national poll: No. 1 Barry, No. 5 Lynn, No. 7 Saint Leo, No. 8 Rollins and No. 10 Florida Southern. On the men's side, No. 2 Barry, No. 4 Saint Leo and No. 8 Lynn are among the nation's best.
SSC teams have collected 12 national championships in tennis -- 7 men and 5 women. They have also earned a total of 16 national runner-up trophies -- 10 men 6 women.
Barry has won three national titles in the last four years. The Buccaneers men won in 2013 and 2010, while the women won in 2011.
The Buccaneers top-ranked women's team (20-1, 8-0 SSC) captured the first-ever SSC women’s regular-season title, and are seeking a fifth straight conference tournament crown.
The rest of the women’s seeds are as follows: No. 2 Lynn (20-2, 7-1 SSC), No. 3 Saint Leo (17-4, 5-3), No. 4 Rollins (16-5, 5-3 SSC), No. 5 Florida Southern (16-5, 5-3 SSC), No. 6 Nova Southeastern (13-10, 3-5 SSC), No. 7 Tampa (11-7, 2-6 SSC) and No. 8 Florida Tech (10-12, 1-7 SSC).
Florida Southern, Rollins and Saint Leo all finished their conference slate with a 5-3 record, and all three teams went 1-1 against the other two conference opponents. The next tiebreaking criteria after head-to-head is the position of each team in the most current NCAA or ITA South Region rankings. Based on the most current rankings, by the NCAA, as of April 16, Saint Leo earned the No. 3 seed, Rollins fourth and Florida Southern fifth at the SSC tournament. The Lions currently rank No. 3 in the South Region, while Rollins ranks fourth and Florida Southern ranks sixth.
No. 1 Barry will face No. 8 Florida Tech 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Bert Martin Courts. No. 4 Rollins will take on No. 5 Florida Southern also at 11:30. The winners will meet in the semifinal round on Friday at 12:30 p.m.
The other side of the bracket will have No. 2 Lynn and No. 7 Tampa squaring off at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner of that match will face the winner of No. 3 Saint Leo and No. 6 Nova Southeastern in Friday's other 12:30 p.m. semifinal. Saint Leo and Nova Southeastern are also scheduled to play at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
The women’s final is set for 12:30 p.m. next Saturday.
The No. 2-ranked Buccaneers men's team (19-2, 6-0 SSC) also captured the first SSC regular season title this year, and are in search of their third straight conference tournament title. The Bucs earned a first round bye.
The rest of the men’s seeds are as follows: No. 2 Lynn (12-5, 5-1), No. 3 Rollins (11-9, 4-2), No. 4 Saint Leo (17-4, 3-3), No. 5 Florida Southern (10-9, 2-4), No. 6 Florida Tech (7-12, 1-5) and No. 7 Eckerd (4-11, 0-6).
First round matchups in the men’s draw all begin at 9 a.m. Thursday. No. 2 Lynn will face No. 7 Eckerd for a spot in the semifinal round against the winner of No. 3 Rollins and No. 6 Florida Tech. On the other side of the bracket, No. 4 Saint Leo and No. 5 Florida Southern will meet for a chance to play No. 1 Barry in the semifinal round. Both of the men’s semifinal matches will be played 9 a.m. Friday. The men’s final is 9 a.m. next Saturday.
NCAA regionals will take place May 2-6 on campus sites to be determined, while the NCAA final site will be hosted by the Sunshine State Conference at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs May 14-17.
SSC WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS
11:30 a.m. -- No. 1 Barry vs. No. 8 Florida Tech (Martin Courts)
11:30 a.m. -- No. 4 Rollins vs. No. 5 Florida Southern (Azalea Courts)
11:30 a.m. -- No. 3 Saint Leo vs. No. 6 Nova Southeastern (Tiedtke Courts)
1:30 p.m. -- No. 2 Lynn vs. No. 7 Tampa (first open courts)
(Highest seed at Martin Courts)
(Lower seed at Tiedtke or Azalea Courts)
12:30 p.m. -- Barry-Florida Tech winner vs. Rollins-Florida Southern winner
12:30 p.m. -- Lynn-Tampa winner vs. Saint Leo-Nova SE winner
12:30 p.m. -- Semifinals winners (Martin Courts)
SSC MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS
9 a.m. -- No. 2 Lynn vs. No. 7 Eckerd (Azalea Courts)
9 a.m. -- No. 3 Rollins-No. 6 Florida Tech (Tiedtke Courts)
9 a.m. -- No. 4 Saint Leo-No. 5 Florida Southern (Martin Courts)
9 a.m. -- No. 1 Barry vs. Saint Leo-Florida Southern winner (Martin Courts)
9 a.m. -- Lynn-Eckerd winner vs. Rollins-Florida Tech winner (Tiedtke or Azalea Courts)
Saturday, April 26
9 a.m. -- Semifinals winners (Martin Courts)