The Francis Marion University women's tennis team has received an at-large invitation to the 2017 NCAA Division II National Tournament, as the tournament field was announced on Tuesday evening (April 25).
The 37th-ranked and fourth-seeded Francis Marion women (13-8) will play in the Southeast Regional #1 at the John W. Walden CSU Tennis Complex in the Cooper Creek Tennis Facility in Columbus, Ga., on Monday, May 1, at 1 p.m. FMU will face 36th-ranked and fifth-seeded University of North Georgia (20-6), while seventh-ranked and top-seeded Columbus State University (22-2) will face eighth-seeded University of Mount Olive (12-7) in the other first-round match on Monday at 9 a.m.
The two winners will meet on Tuesday, May 2, at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the Sweet 16 National Championships, May 10-13, in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
The FMU/UNG contest will be a re-match of last Friday's Peach Belt Conference Tournament quarterfinal match that Francis Marion won 5-1 in Florence. The Nighthawks won the regular-season meeting 5-4 in Dahlonega, Ga.
The Francis Marion women are in the NCAAs for the 10th time in 12 years, and the 15th time in the past 23 years. FMU captured regional championships in 2008 and 2009, and have reached the regional final eight times in the past 10 years.
Long-time FMU head coach Garth Thomson has directed his alma mater to a 345-200 record in 25 seasons.
The national tournament fields include 48 teams with 20 automatic qualifiers and 28 at-large invitees.