YSU Set To Take On 10th-Seeded Wolverines In NCAA Regional

Noelly Nsimba
Noelly Nsimba

The Youngstown State women's tennis team will take on 10th-seeded Michigan in the NCAA Regionals on Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the Varsity Tennis Center.

The Penguins (16-8) are making their fourth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Regionals and will be facing a Big Ten foe for the second straight year. Michigan (21-5) has appeared in the NCAA Regionals for 16 straight years.

First serve for the contest is set for 1 p.m. following the first match which features Dartmouth against No. 17 Kentucky.

This is the first-ever meeting between the two programs, but the Guins are familiar with the Varsity Tennis Center. The Penguins recently won a pair of matches to claim the Horizon League Championship. YSU also won Horizon League titles at the facility in 2014 and 2016.

YSU has won its last 10 matches entering the contest at Michigan. The Penguins started the season 4-1 before winning four of their next nine matches. Since March 25, YSU has reeled off 10 straight wins, one shy of the school record. 

YSU's 16 wins tie for the second-most wins in a season school history. The Penguins won 17 matches in 2014-15 and 16 in 1998-99.

Four Penguins enter the postseason on winning streaks of four-or-more matches. Senior Nehel Sahni has won eight straight matches, Noelly Longi Nsimba and Dominika Lackova have won five straight while Imaan Hassim has won her last four decisions.

This is the fourth NCAA appearance for Lackova and Sahni, third for Sofia Macias and second for Ana Stroe and Nsimba.

The Wolverines have won eight of their last nine matches are and 11-0 at home this season. UM has a top-10 ranked doubles team and a pair of singles players ranked in the top 30 nationally.

In the newest ITA rankings (May 4), junior Alex Najarian and sophomore Kate Fahey stayed at No. 9 for the third straight week. Najarian and Fahey are 26-4 overall, with a 15-3 mark at No. 1 during dual matches. The two were ranked as the nation's No. 1 doubles team earlier this season. On the singles side, Brienne Minor (No. 24) and Fahey (No. 26) are the lone Wolverines ranked.

In October, Nsimba battled Minor to the three-set decision at the ITA Midwest Regionals. Nsimba dropped a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 decision to Minor in East Lansing, Mich.

The winner of Friday's match will play on Saturday at 1 p.m.