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Meet the opponents for the 2024 ITA Indoor Nationals

UNK hosts the DII women’s team indoor championships for a second straight year
The+trophy+for+the+ITA+DII+womens+team+indoor+championships+on+display+at+last+years+event%2C+also+in+Kearney.+Photo+by+Alex+Hammeke+%2F+Antelope+Staff
The trophy for the ITA DII women’s team indoor championships on display at last years event, also in Kearney. Photo by Alex Hammeke / Antelope Staff

hammekea@lopers.unk.edu

National Championships will be held this weekend in Kearney. For the second straight year, UNK will host the Intercollegiate Tennis Association DII women’s team indoor championships at the Ernest Grundy Tennis Center.

For UNK Womens tennis head coach Scott Shafer, there’s an expectation to compete better than last year.

“I know we’re a lot more competitive, because it was about a year ago when we lost our sixth player for the year to an achilles tear and we didn’t have much depth,” Shafer said. “This year, it’s a totally different situation, and we have a lot more depth.”

It’s the second year that UNK has hosted the event, which has only been around for five years. The event was started in 2020, and was hosted by Central Oklahoma for the first three years before UNK won the bid to host in 2023 and 2024. The meet does not count as a NCAA championship, and teams are selected based off of their performance from the NCAA Tournament.

Barry University, a member of the Sunshine State Conference, has dominated the young event, winning three of the four championships thus far. The University of Indianapolis won in 2021 as the only other school to win the championship. Last year, Barry went 28-0 and defeated Nova Southeastern to win their sixth straight NCAA women’s tennis championship. Barry enters this year’s tournament as the No. 1 seed, and will match up against the Lopers at 5:30 on Friday.

The Sunshine State Conference is the home conference to the top three schools in the championships, with Nova Southeastern being the No. 2 seed and Saint Leo University holding the #3 seed. The tournament is southern heavy, with the Peach Belt Conference’s Flagler College and Columbus State University holding the No. 4 and No. 6 seeds respectively, and the Gulf South Conference’s University of West Alabama holding the No. 5 seed. 

Wayne State University, from Detroit, took the No. 7 seed. UNK, being the host school, took the #8 seed. 

 

MEET THE OPPONENTS: ITA DII WOMEN’S INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

BARRY UNIVERSITY: #1 SEED

This Year’s Record (as of February 19): 5-1

ITA DII Team Rating (February 14 Ranking): #1

Last Year’s Record: 28-0 (Won NCAA DII Tennis Championship over Nova Southeastern, 4-1)

Head Coach: Avi Kigel (16th year)

 

NOVA SOUTHEASTERN: #2 SEED

This Year’s Record (as of February 19): 3-1

ITA DII Team Rating (February 14 Ranking): #2

Last Year’s Record: 26-4 (Lost to Barry in the NCAA DII Tennis Championship, 4-1)

Head Coach: Doug Neagle (8th year)

 

SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY: #3 SEED

This Year’s Record (as of February 19): 3-0 

ITA DII Team Rating (February 14 Ranking): #5

Last Year’s Record: 21-6 (Lost to Nova Southeastern in the NCAA DII South Regional, 4-0)

Head Coach: N/A (Head Coach Chad Berryhill resigned last month.)

 

FLAGLER COLLEGE: #4 SEED

This Year’s Record (as of February 19): 0-0

ITA DII Team Rating (February 14 Ranking): #4

Last Year’s Record: 22-5 (Lost to Barry in the NCAA DII Tennis Championship Semifinals, 4-0)

Head Coach: Rodrigo Puebla (8th year)

 

UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALABAMA: #5 SEED

This Year’s Record (as of February 19): 3-0

ITA DII Team Rating (February 14 Ranking): #7

Last Year’s Record: 16-7 (Lost to Nova Southeastern in the NCAA DII Tennis Quarterfinals, 4-0)

Head Coach: Evan Issacs (25th year)

 

COLUMBUS STATE UNIVERSITY: #6 SEED

This Year’s Record (as of February 19): 3-0

ITA DII Team Rating (February 14 Ranking): #6

Last Year’s Record: 16-7 (Lost to Nova Southeastern in the NCAA DII Tennis Quarterfinals, 4-0)

Head Coach: Evan Issacs (25th year)

 

WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY: #7 SEED

This Year’s Record (as of February 19): 4-2

ITA DII Team Rating (February 14 Ranking): #14

Last Year’s Record: 24-4 (Lost to Hawaii Pacific in the NCAA DII Tennis Quarterfinals, 4-0)

Head Coach: Sheila Snyder (35th year)

 

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-KEARNEY: #8 SEED

This Year’s Record (as of February 19): 4-0

ITA DII Team Rating (February 14 Ranking): NR

Last Year’s Record: 14-11 (Lost to Missouri Western in the first round of the MIAA Tournament, 4-1)

Head Coach: Scott Shafer (5th year)

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Alex Hammake, Reporter
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