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Philadelphia Collegiate Tennis in the NCAA Playoffs

May 25, 2014 02:28 PM

Philadelphia Collegiate Tennis in the NCAA Playoffs

There are so many collegiate tennis teams in the Philadelphia area (Penn, Drexel, Villanova, Temple, Cabrini, Eastern, Philadelphia University, LaSalle...).  But how many Division 1 teams made it to the NCAA tournament?  None. 

What about Division 2 teams?  Nope. 

Out of all the schools in the Philadelphia area, only 2 teams made it to the NCAA tournament and they are both small Division 3 schools rising to the top! 

Gwynedd Mercy University has been a conference powerhouse over the past few years in women’s tennis.  They captured their 5th Colonial State Athletic Conference title in the past 6 years.  Under the guidance of coach Jim Holt, previous PATD Award Winner,  they finished with a 10-0 conference record and 17-3 overall.  In fact, they almost pulled up an upset of Division 1 LaSalle this season, losing 4-5.  The only difference between GMU and other schools in our area is that the women in actually play in the fall. 

So they won the title in Fall 2013, but advanced to the tournament in May, which makes for a long layoff.  Unfortunately they ended up losing to Simmons College 2-5.  But Great job to Jim and his team and continued success for the program!

Unlike Gwynedd Mercy, the Neumann University Men’s program had not been to an NCAA tournament in years.  4th year coach Kayla Chamberlain says, “I honestly thought this year would have been a struggle.  I had no new recruits and four seniors who wanted a championship more than ever.  We realized we could win our conference the weekend we finally, after four years, beat both Baptist Bible 5-4 and Marywood 5-4.”  

Neumann then advanced to the conference tournament where they won both matches 5-2.  Unfortunately they ended up losing to Baruch college in the NCAA tournament in Fredericksburg, VA, but their coach was proud of their accomplishment.  “As they started to slowly come off the court in a slow defeat I kept congratulating them telling them how proud I was as a coach to bring this small team of seven with four seniors to the NCAA! As a four year men's coach this was the first time we were there together,” Chamblerlain said.  Overall, they were 9-0 in conference and 11-4 overall. 

Great job to both programs.  Let’s hope we can see a few more next year!