The NSIC Tournament Bracket is set. The Minnesota State Women’s Tennis team is the no. 2 seed and will begin their journey with a matchup against the Southwest Minnesota State University Mustangs.
The two seed has not been a goal for the Mavs this season, it has been an expectation. With a 13-1 regular season record, the Mavs are ready to do some damage.
SMSU has played a few more matches than MSU to this point, but their record lags significantly behind that of the Mavs. With a 6-14 record and sitting at the no. 7, the Mustangs are not expected to win, they are underdogs. They will be playing with nothing to lose.
In the last month, the Mustangs have given both the 5 and 6 seeds a run for their money. In both matches, they came down to the final point, but resulting in a win for no. 5 St. Cloud State and no. 6 Winona State.
This season, the Mavs picked up their first win against the Mustangs in four years, 6-1. Statistically speaking, the Mavs should win this game. So, should they move on, they would play the winner of the no. 3 University of Mary Marauders and no. 6 Winona State. Statistically speaking, UMary should win this one, and there would be a no. 2 vs. no. 3 face-off for a chance to inevitably play the no. 1 seed, Augustana.
UMary is a deserving no. 3 seed with a 10-5 record, with their only conference losses being to the no. 1 and no. 2 seed Vikings and Mavs. The Mavs took on the Marauders March 25 in St. Peter, where the Mavs took home a 5-2 victory. In the past four years, each team has gone on a three-game winning streak.
For the past two years, it has been the Mavs’ turn. Can they break the law of three and advance to the NSIC Match Pointe? If they do, Augustana will most likely be there waiting for them. The Vikings handed the Mavs their only loss this season, and the Mavs need to redeem themselves.
The Vikings have dominated the NSIC for years now when it comes to tennis, and the Mavs are the team that has come the closest to knocking them off of their throne. If it is going to happen, it has to be this year, as Augustana is also looking to move up to Division I play in the coming years.
From day one, the Mavs knew what they were capable of, and now it’s time to show what they’ve got.
The first round begins at 9 a.m. Friday, April 21 in the neutral location of Sioux Falls, S.D. Should they advance to the second round? The match will take place in the same place just a day later, Saturday, April 22 at 2 p.m. And if the Mavs make it to Match Pointe? Sunday, April 23, 10 a.m., again in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Write to Hayden Lee at email@example.com
Header Photo: Minnesota State’s Women’s Tennis team prepares for the NSIC tournament starting Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Courtesy MSU Athletics)