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SID's NOTE: Rain has forced Thursday morning play to indoor facilities in Lexington. Match times have shifted due to this change.
Georgetown College tennis got a big coup when hiring Jessica Cunningham to take over the reins of the program this past year. The alum's Tiger days were highlighted by numerous wins, and she was consistently ranked as one of the top players.
Her drive is to see the same for the entire program now that she is head coach. Part of doing that is getting quality tennis matches back on the campus of Georgetown College.
"In order to drive energy you have to have a program fans want to watch," Cunningham said. "If we only have a handful of matches all year here, it is hard for our fans to really get behind us. I saw an opportunity for hosting the ITA Regional Tournament, and with the support of our athletic director Brian Evans, took it."
Starting Thursday, 22 teams (12 male and 10 female) will be in Georgetown for the regional tournament of the fall. ITA is the organization that helps set the rankings as a governing body of tennis. Teams from Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia will battle it out for three days in a grueling, six-round, single-elimination tournament.
Two rounds will be played each day. The men will start on the courts at East Campus at 10 am Thursday with the round of 32 starting at 1 pm, while the women will start 9:15 am at Scott County High School and the second round starting at 10:30 am do to the fewer numbers of women in the opening draw.
"It should be really good tennis this weekend, and we are really excited about being able to host it," Cunningham said. "We'd love to see the student body as well as the general public really get involved and see the strides we have made as a team."
The Tiger men have already beaten two teams that are in the Top 25 or receiving votes. The women had a slow start against a strong Top 25 Marian team and rebounded for a solid win Ohio Northern, which is receiving votes.
In the men's draw is: Georgetown, Cumberland University, Lindsey Wilson College, Brescia University, Bethel University, Campbellsville University, University of Pikeville, Milligan College, University of the Cumberlands, Martin Methodist College, Bluefield College and Asbury University. The women's draw is the same minus Pikeville and Bluefield.