Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney tennis teams have both received at-large bids to the 2018 NCAA Tournaments. This is the fifth straight year UNK has made both the men’s and women’s 48-team NCAA fields. The 23rd-ranked Loper men (15-5) are the No. 3 seed in the four-team Central Regional and will host No. 33 and second-seeded Washburn (12-5) on Tuesday, May 1, at Harmon Park. First serve is set for 2 p.m. UNK is hosting because WU didn’t put in a bid. These two teams met just last week in the MIAA Tournament semifinals in Lincoln. The ‘Bods managed a 5-3 win thanks to four close singles wins. During the regular season, the Lopers beat WU 7-2 in Grand Island thanks to four three-set singles wins.
The Loper/Ichabod winner advances to the “Sweet 16” May 9-12 in Surprise, Ariz. UNK is in the NCAA’s for a 17th time and previously made the Sweet 16 in 2012, 2011, 2006 and 2005. The other Central Regional men’s dual features No. 13 and top-seed Southwest Baptist hosting No. 32 and four-seed Southeastern Oklahoma State. The Bearcat/Savage Storm winner also advances to Arizona. On the women’s side, UNK (15-7) is the No. 6 seed in a six-team regional and will face No. 33 and third seed Southwest Baptist (14-4). The dual will be held Saturday, April 28, in Edmond, Okla. First serve is TBA. The Bearcats beat the Lopers during the regular season, 8-1, and in the MIAA Tournament, 5-2. The UNK/SBU winner faces second-seed and eighth-ranked Central Oklahoma on Sunday. The winner heads to Surprise May 8-11. Also in the Central, top-seed and No. 7 Northeastern State is hosting a three-team event with that winner headed to Arizona. UNK is in the NCAA women’s tourney for the 11th time and previously advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2012, 2010 and 2009.