AKRON, Ohio — Seven Zips women's tennis players will travel to East Lansing, Mich., this week for the 2016 ITA Midwest Regional Championships hosted by Michigan State at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.
"I am excited to see how we compete against teams from all over the Midwest this week and weekend," said head coach Brandon Padgett. "I feel like we are all well prepared, but as it often times does, it will come down to matchups. With a tournament such as this, you could play another teams No. 1 player in the first round, so you have to be ready from the start. I have been pleased with how we have played this fall, and I hope to see that same kind of effort in the most difficult tournament of the fall for our team."
First Round singles matches are set to begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday with doubles matches beginning on Friday at 2 p.m.
The six-day event runs from Oct. 20-25 while the winners of each draw (singles and doubles) will clinch a spot to play in the ITA National Indoor Championships, which will take place Nov. 3-6 at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
The 25 Midwest region teams participating include host Michigan State, Akron, Bowling Green, Butler, Chicago State, Cleveland State, DePaul, Detroit, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Illinois State, Illinois-Chicago, Illinois, Marquette, Michigan, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Toledo, Western Michigan, Wisconsin, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Youngstown State
In the opening singles draw, freshman Rita Pedroso (Porto, Portugal) is slotted 13th and faces Katja Fevralev from Western Michigan. In the 36th position, junior Carli Knezevich (Austin, Texas) is set to take on Wisconsin's Melissa Pick.
Sophomore Luisa Echeverry (Cali, Columbia) sits as the 49th spot and will have a bye in the first round while Karalina Maksimava (Mogilev, Belarus) is set for a clash against Daniela Pedrazza-Novak from Illinois.
Senior Shannon Newnes (Romford, London) will be participating in doubles action along with five other Zips while juniors Ariadna Blinova (Riga, Latvia) and Sophia Geier (Burgebrach, Germany) will be competing in singles action as well.
Admission is free, with the tournament being held indoors. Consolation action will be played outdoors, weather permitting.
Following the ITA's, the Zips will conclude their fall slate at the Youngstown Invitational from Nov. 4-6.