May 18, 2012

Bowdoin Tennis Teams Open NCAA Quarterfinal Play Monday in North Carolina

CARY, N.C. - The Bowdoin College men's and women's tennis teams will both open play in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Championships on Monday at Cary Tennis Park in North Carolina.

The Polar Bear men (15-7) will battle NESCAC foe Williams in the first match of the day at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, May 21. The Bowdoin women (13-8) will have the last match that afternoon as they will face Emory at 3:30 p.m. Bowdoin is one of six programs to have both their men's and women's team qualify for the final eight in both tournament brackets.

Live coverage of all of the matches, as well as a complete schedule of matches, is available here.

About the Men's Team
The Bowdoin men kicked off their season with a challenging slate of matches in California and returned from spring break with a 2-5 overall record. The Polar Bears hit their stride once returning to the east coast, rolling off nine consecutive wins - the program's longest win streak in over a decade - and rising to a #9 ranking in the ITA Division III poll. During the skein, Bowdoin dominated doubles play, winning all 27 doubles points.

The Polar Bears saw their win streak come to an end in a May 5 loss to Williams (5-4), but bounced back in the NESCAC semifinals to take a 5-3 win against the Ephs. Bowdoin advanced to the NESCAC Championship match for the second time in school history, falling to Amherst, 5-2. Last weekend in NCAA Regional play, Bowdoin cruised to a 5-0 win over Baruch and took a convincing 5-1 win over Trinity (Texas) to reach the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second time in program history.

Bowdoin raked in a collection of All-NESCAC honors as a result of their fantastic campaign. Senior Oscar Pena and sophomore Samuel King jointly earned First Team All-NESCAC in Doubles while Pena netted a Second Team selection in Singles. First-year Kyle Wolstencroft was recognized as the league's Rookie of the Year while head coach Conor Smith was tabbed as the conference Coach of the Year in his debut campaign.

After splitting their first two matches with Williams this spring, Bowdoin will look to advance to the National Semifinals for the first time in program history. In the program's previous NCAA Quarterfinal appearance, Bowdoin dropped a 4-0 decision to Emory in 2002.

About the Women's Team
The Bowdoin women took a winding road to North Carolina, opening their season with a 4-3 spring break record in California. The Polar Bears won six of their next eight matches after returning to New England with their only losses during that stretch coming at the hands of Middlebury (8-1) and Amherst (8-1). The Polar Bears advanced to the NESCAC Semifinals where they suffered a 5-1 setback to Williams.

Bowdoin rebounded well in NCAA play, cruising to a 5-1 win over Wellesley to earn a rematch with Middlebury. The Polar Bears mounted one of the most dramatic comebacks in school history against the Panthers, rallying from a 4-1 deficit to stun the hosts in a 5-4 decision to advance to their second-ever NCAA Quarterfinal appearance.

In postseason honors announced by the NESCAC last week, junior Kellen Alberstone received First Team Singles recognition for the second-straight season. Sophomore Kate Winingham was named as a Second Team All-Conference selection.

The Polar Bears will play Emory for the first time in program history in the quarterfinals on Monday. The team has reached the final eight of the national tournament for the second time in school history. In its only other appearance in 2008, Bowdoin lost a 5-3 decision to Pomona-Pitzer.