DENVER – The Summit League Tennis Championships, hosted by the University of Denver, begin Friday at the Gates Tennis Center with both the men's and women's tournaments running concurrently over two days.
Women's semifinal play opens the weekend beginning at 9 a.m. (MT) Friday when four-time defending champion and No. 1 seed Denver meets No. 4 Western Illinois. Following that match, No. 2 seed Omaha, making its first tournament appearance, faces No. 3 South Dakota at 1 p.m.
Men's semifinal action begins at 3 p.m. with top-seeded Drake against No. 4 Oral Roberts. The final match of the day between four-time defending champion and No. 2 seed Denver and No. 3 Valparaiso is slated for 6 p.m.
Saturday's championships begin at 10 a.m. with the women's title match and continue at 1 p.m. with the men's championship.
Denver plays host to The Summit League Tennis Championships for the first time since 2014, its first season as a league member. The Pioneers claimed both the men's and women's titles that season.
Five Things to Know for The Summit League Tennis Championships
1) Denver looks to match a Summit League record with a fifth consecutive women's tournament championship (only Oral Roberts 1998-2002 has achieved that feat). DU's women set a league-record with its fifth straight regular season title. The Pioneers can become the first men's team to win five straight tournaments since 2005.
2) Regular season champion Drake can become the third team in Summit League history to win a men's tournament title in its inaugural season. The feat was first achieved by Oral Roberts in 1998 and again by Denver in 2014.
3) Denver's women have not dropped a point in a record eight Summit League Tournament matches. The Pioneers have won all eight of their all-time matches by 4-0 scores.
4) Omaha is making its first Summit League Women's Tennis Tournament appearance while Western Illinois qualified for the tournament for the first time 2009. WIU's last appearance came in 2015 when all teams were included in the field.
5) Denver's Bianca Mok and Julia O'Loughlin currently hold the No. 27 position in the ITA women's doubles rankings. O'Loughlin holds the No. 57 spot in the ITA singles rankings. On the men's side, Drake peaked at No. 46 in the team rankings and had Vinny Gillespie in the singles rankings during the season.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.
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