It’s been a pretty successful year for Syracuse Orange athletics in terms of making the postseason (no comment, football...) and that continued on Tuesday with news that the SU tennis team would be headed to the NCAA Tournament.
WE’RE IN!! The Orange will face Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. pic.twitter.com/jq2MEZwE8c— Syracuse Tennis (@Cuse_Tennis) May 1, 2018
Syracuse started the season a scoring 11-2, and finished 17-7 -- including 8-6 in the ACC. The Orange fell to Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament last week, but SU — a top-30 squad this year -- still made the field with room to spare. They’ll face the Wichita State Shockers on Friday in round one of the 64-team event, with the winner moving on to face No. 5 seed overall Ole Miss or Missouri State in Oxford, Miss. The “Sweet 16” in tennis is actually the National Championship, with those programs competing for the title in Winston-Salem this year, from May 17-22.
This is just the second NCAA Tournament trip in program history. The other was two years ago, when SU defeated Georgia State, then fell to No. 1 seed Florida.
It’s been pretty helpful this year to have one of the top players in the country on the roster, in junior Gabriela Knutson (currently ranked No. 4). Knutson is the lone Orange player ranked among the top 125 by the ITA, and one of four ACC players in the top 10. SU also has the 10th-ranked doubles team in the country, with Knutson and Miranda Ramirez.
Syracuse’s round one opponent, the Shockers, have their own ranked player on the roster in No. 67 Fatima Bizhukova. Should the Orange advance and face Ole Miss, they’ll have two ranked foes there: No. 6 Arianne Hartono and No. 77 Sabina Machalova.
If you’d like to watch Friday’s proceedings, it seems like NCAA.com might be your best streaming bet, but we’ll update that if it changes.