The Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies begin their quest for a third-straight national tennis championship today.
After winning the last two years in Tucson, Ariz., TJC gets a chance to three-peat on their home courts.
Almost 30 teams are entered as the NJCAA Division I Women’s National Tennis Tournament gets under way at the JoAnn Medlock Murphy Tennis Center and the Louise Brookshire Family Tennis Center on the campus of TJC.
The tourney gets started at 8 a.m. each day and it is free and open to the public. The final match of the day on Sunday is scheduled to go on at 4 p.m.
TJC is ranked No. 1 in the nation by the ITA. Kerri Cartwright leads the way for the Apache Ladies with a No. 2 ranking in singles and a No. 1 rating in doubles with her partner Audrey Leitz.
Other Apache Ladies ranked in singles are Leitz (No. 13), Nelo Phiri (No. 22), Alejandra Enderica (No. 23) and Ariana Saldana (No. 38). TJC also has two other doubles teams ranked with Mary Alice Blacketer-Saldana (No. 8) and Phiri-Enderica (No. 14).
A total of 29 teams are expected with the schools from Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Georgia, New York, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Arizona and South Carolina attending.
State College of Florida is ranked second in the polls, while Laredo Community College is third. However, Laredo elected to not send their squad. Collin College of Plano is fourth, followed by Cowley County Community College of Kansas.
Cowley County sports the top-ranked player in Diana Davitaia.
It is a flighted tournament with a consolation draw (first match losers) in all divisions. The scoring in the main draw includes: the first round will be worth two points; a “bye” followed by a win is worth three points. Each additional win will be worth one point in the main draw. In the consolation draw, a win following a bye will be worth one point and a half point will be awarded thereafter.
A banquet for the teams is scheduled for tonight at the Apache Rooms where the ITA Players of the Year and Sportsmanship awards are presented, as well as the NJCAA Women’s Tennis Hall of Fame induction.
SMOKE SIGNALS: The Murphy Tennis Center is located at 1030 S. Palmer Avenue on the TJC campus. The Brookshire courts are adjacent to the Murphy Center. … The men’s tournament is May 14-18 at Collin College in Plano.
NJCAA Women’s National
JoAnn Medlock Murphy Tennis Center, Louise Brookshire Family Tennis Center
Tyler Junior College
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Stallions, Tifton, Ga.
ASA College Avengers, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Broward College Seahawks, Davie, Fla.
Central Alabama Community College Trojans, Alexander City, Ala.
College of DuPage Chaparrals, Glen Ellyn, Ill.
College of Lake County Lancers, Grayslake, Ill.
Collin County Community College Cougars, Plano, Texas
Cowley County Community College Tigers, Arkansas City, Kan.
Eastern Arizona College Gila Monsters, Thatcher, Ariz.
Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars, Decatur, Ga.
Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Itawamba Community College Indians, Fulton, Miss.
Johnson County Community College Cavaliers, Overland Park, Kan.
Jones County Junior College Bobcats, Ellisville, Miss.
Kaskaskia College Blue Angels, Centralia, Ill.
Lewis & Clark Community College Trailblazers, Godfrey, Ill.
Meridian Community College Eagles, Meridian, Miss.
Mesa Community College Thunderbirds, Mesa, Ariz.
Moraine Valley Community College Cyclones, Palos Hills, Ill.
New Mexico Military Institute Broncos, Roswell, N.M.
Pima Community College Aztecs, Tucson, Ariz.
Seminole State College Trojans, Seminole, Okla.
Seward County Community College Saints, Liberal, Kan.
Snead State Community College Parsons, Boaz, Ala.
State College of Florida Manatees, Bradenton, Fla.
St. Petersburg College Titans, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Templc College Leopards, Temple, Texas
Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies, Tyler, Texas
USC Lancaster Lancers, Lancaster, S.C.