This Week's Outlook: The College of Wooster women's tennis team is the sixth seed for this week's North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament and faces third-seeded DePauw University in the quarterfinals on Friday, April 26 at 9 a.m. The NCAC Tournament is taking place April 26-28 at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Ind.
Last Meeting: Wooster (11-5, 1-2 NCAC East) last met DePauw (9-11, 2-1 NCAC West) in the quarterfinals of the 2018 NCAC Tournament. The newly regionally-ranked Scots were unable to sustain that momentum, as the fellow regionally-ranked Tigers took the contest 6-0. DePauw is ranked eighth in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Rankings.
Back-to-Back: Coupled with last year's 15-5 record, Wooster's guaranteed to finish above .500 for the second straight year. The Scots are headed in an upward trajectory, as the program last had back-to-back years with an above .500 winning percentage during the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
Li Continues to Shine: Qingyue Li (Beijing, China/Weil Tennis Academy (Calif.)) earned first-team all-conference honors in singles as a sophomore, and prior to that, was the third Wooster student-athlete to earn the NCAC's Newcomer of the Year award in a five-year stretch. This season, Li's continued to shine at the front end of Wooster's lineup. In fact, Li's up to fifth all-time in program history with a combined 84 wins, and a top-three spot is within reach this week, as she's right behind alumnae Rachel Molé (86, 2014-17) and Helen Shepard (85, 1989-92) when it comes to combined wins. This season, Li's 13-2 in singles and 11-4 in doubles.
Sophomore Slump? No Such Thing at Wooster: Wooster's upward trajectory has been fueled in large part by student-athletes coming in and making a large impact right away. Sophomore Sarah Duran (Portland, Ore./Northwest Academy) is the latest example of that. Duran went 15-7 a year ago and is 13-5 this season. In fact, Duran's 27 wins at No. 2 singles are already the most in program history, as she exceeded the 23 logged by Jennifer Young (1987-88, 90).
It's as Easy as One, Two, Three: Wooster's a remarkable 39-9 (.813) in the top three flights in dual matches this year. Junior Shannon Sertz (Fairview, Pa./Fairview) is a key contributor to that stat. Sertz has been the Scots' primary No. 3 player this season, where she's 8-1 in singles. Overall, Sertz' 12-4 in singles play.
Tournament History: Wooster and DePauw have met twice in the NCAC Tournament, with the first match coming in the 2012 quarterfinal round. The Tigers won that match 5-0. The winner of Friday's match will face the winner of second-seeded Denison University and seventh-seeded Ohio Wesleyan University at 9 a.m. on Saturday.