Any tension in the room was defused quickly as Kansas University was one of the first four teams to flash across the screen during the 2016 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships selection show. KU, which is appearing in the tournament for the first time since 1999, will take on UC Santa Barbara in the first round of play at noon on Friday, May 13 at the Hellman Tennis Center in Berkeley, Calif.
“It was good to see our name called so quickly,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman, who is in his third season at the helm of the KU program. “Being an at-large bid we wanted to know that we were in right away, so that was good. We saw our name and anything else that happened after that didn’t matter because we knew we were good. We’re looking forward to going to California.”
Chapman was not the only one who was happy to see Kansas on the screen. KU’s lone senior, Maria Jose Cardona, spoke on behalf of her teammates.
“It is really exciting,” said Cardona. “This is the first time we’ve made it to the NCAA since I’ve been here, so it’s just amazing. We started to work very well last semester. The young girls who came in are fighters. We all got in the mindset to work hard and it would pay off.”
Kansas will travel to the No. 1 overall seed California for the first two rounds of play. The Jayhawks are the two seed in their pod and will face the No. 3 seed UC Santa Barbara, while Cal will take on No. 4 seed University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). The two winners will match up at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.