Houston Selected to Participate in 2015 ITA Season Kick-Off

    <i>Elena Kordolaimi and Despoina Vogasari</i>
    Elena Kordolaimi and Despoina Vogasari
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    June 11, 2014

    Full ITA Season Kick-Off Field | Final 2014 ITA Rankings 

    HOUSTON--- The University of Houston Tennis program has been selected to participate in the 2015 ITA Division I Kick-Off Weekend, slated for Jan. 23-25, the organization announced on Wednesday.

    For Houston, it will be the first time in program history that it has qualified for the event. The tournament is made up of 60 teams, divided into 15 regionals with four teams in each pod. The event is reserved for elite programs in college tennis, as 37 of the 60 squads participating qualified for the NCAA Tournament this spring. The field also includes defending National Champion UCLA and runner-up North Carolina.

    Invitation to the event was determined by the final 2014 ITA rankings, with the top 15 squads earning a host bid, while the remaining three seeds in each pod were determined by the school's regional ITA ranking.

    The Cougars have been named as the No. 2 seed in the College Station Regional, with Texas A&M hosting and playing as the regional's top seed, while TCU and North Texas round out the three and four seeds respectively.

    "It's a big honor to be invited to this event for the first time and we're fortunate to be able to play two quality matches near home at a venue we are very familiar with," said Houston head coach Partick Sullivan. "Part of being able to compete at a championship level is having these types of experiences."

    "We took a big step forward in making the NCAA Tournament this year and with the ITA Kick-Off serving basically as a preseason NCAA Tournament, this will be a great opportunity for us to get some more confidence in this type of situation."

    Houston will meet with three-seeded TCU in the event's opening round, while Texas A&M will clash with North Texas. The winners of the two matches will play each other for the regional championship and a spot in the 2015 ITA National Team Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Virginia on Feb. 6-9.

    The two opening round losers will play each other in round two, as every team is guaranteed two matches.

    The Cougars will begin 2015 in the same place where their impressive 2014 campaign came to a close, as UH dropped a 5-0 decision to Texas in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament back in May. It was just the program's third trip to the postseason in school history and the first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998.

    College Station Regional
    1. (#9) Texas A&M
    2. (#38) Houston
    3. (#53) TCU
    4. (#66) North Texas

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