KU duo qualifies for 2017 NCAA Individual Tournament
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas’ No. 1 doubles team of senior Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum and sophomore Nina Khmelnitckaia will be the first Jayhawks to participate in the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships since 1998, after the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Subcommittee awarded the duo with an at-large berth.
“We are really proud of Tess and Nina,” head coach Todd Chapman said. “To be the first Kansas team since 1998 to make the NCAA Doubles Championship is quite an honor for both of them. I know both Nina and Tess really wanted to accomplish this goal and I think it is a great way for Tess to end her college career.
“I also think it is a great opportunity for Nina to get this kind of experience in just her sophomore season. The really exciting thing about this opportunity is Nina and Tess are a doubles team that has the ability to advance deep in the tournament if they play the right way.”
The singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 24-29 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia, after the conclusion of the team championship, which runs from May 19-23. The University of Georgia will serve as the host.
Bernard-Feigenbaum and Khmelnitckaia are currently the No. 35-ranked doubles team in the nation. The duo climbed as high as No. 19 on February 8. Together, they won five-straight matches at the ITA Central Regional before falling in the title match. This season, the pair has tallied a 21-10 overall mark, including a 15-7 spring record.
The Jayhawk tandem is the first at the NCAA individual championship since Kylie Hunt and Christie Sim posted a 1-1 record at the 1998 event. In 1994, the Kansas team of Rebecca Jensen and Nora Koves won the national championship.
All matches shall be the best-of-three sets. No-ad scoring and a seven-point tiebreaker (first to seven points, must win by two points) at six-games-all will be used for all matches. In doubles, a 10-point match tiebreaker will be played in lieu of a third set.
Automatic qualification into the Division I doubles championship is awarded to any conference with one or more eligible doubles teams ranked in the ITA Top 60 for eligible/entered doubles teams. For conferences with more than one doubles team within the ITA Top 60 eligible/entered doubles teams, the subcommittee applies the NCAA selection criteria to determine which doubles team is the automatic qualifier from those conferences. All doubles teams must have started a minimum of 10 doubles matches, eight must be completed, with four of the eight matches completed in the spring, in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection.
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