Gustavus Adolphus College plays host this weekend as the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference crowns a tournament champion in women’s tennis. The host Gusties captured their 18th consecutive league title and earned the top seed in this weekend’s tournament by going 10-0 in league play. The winner of this weekend’s tournament receives the MIAC’s automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championships, which will be hosted by Oglethorpe University in Lawrenceville, Georgia, May 9-14.
Gustavus enters the tournament as the only MIAC team ranked nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The 13th-ranked Gusties are also the fourth-ranked team in the Central Region. Carleton is ranked ninth in the region, followed by St. Olaf in the tenth position.
Carleton’s Schmidt and Gustavus’ Sierra Krebsbach lead the list of ranked women’s players from the MIAC. Schmidt is ranked fourth regionally in singles, while Krebsbach is rated 12th. In the doubles rankings Krebsbach and Samantha Frank are the top-rated duo in the Central Region as they are ranked eighth. The only other MIAC doubles team that is ranked regionally is Schmidt and Erin Gudul of Carleton and they are ranked tenth.
Gustavus finished atop the league standings with a perfect record for the 18th consecutive season, capturing the school’s 24th MIAC title in the process. Carleton finished second with a 9-1 league mark, followed by St. Olaf (8-2), Saint Benedict (6-4), St. Thomas (6-4), and Concordia (5-5). Concordia was the biggest mover in the league standings from 2008 to 2009, improving four spots from tenth to sixth. The Cobbers finished 5-12 overall, 1-9 in the MIAC a year ago, but enter the 2009 MIAC Tournament with a 13-6 record overall and a 5-5 mark in the conference. Macalester (5-5), St. Mary’s (3-7), Hamline (2-8), St. Catherine (1-9) and Bethel (0-10) round out the standings.
This year’s tournament will begin at 3 p.m. Friday, May 1 with two first-round matches on the Brown Outdoor Courts. #5 St. Thomas will face #4 St. Beneddict, while #3 St. Olaf will face #6 Concordia. Play continues Saturday, May 2 with semifinal matches scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and the championship match slated for 3 p.m. on the Brown Outdoor Courts. On Saturday, the #1 seed Gusties will face the lowest remaining seed, while the #2 seed Knights, will face the highest remaining seed. In the event of rain, play will be moved to Gustavus’ Swanson Tennis Center. All matches contested outdoors will be played to completion. If weather forces the tournament indoors, matches will be played to decision.