By Joey Jones for App State Sports. BOONE, N.C. – For the first time in program history, App State is headed to the women’s tennis postseason.
Head coach Ashleigh Antal and the Mountaineers have accepted an invitation to the inaugural Universal Tennis National Invitational Tennis Championship (NIT Championship), which will take place in Peachtree City, Georgia, May 17-20.
“We’re honored to have received a bid to the inaugural NIT for college tennis,” Antal said. “It’s a huge deal to be able to play postseason tennis and to be able to promote our sport in this way. This is a special group that has competed hard all year, so I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to get back out on the court with them one more time.”
App State will face Wyoming on the May 17 opening round for a standard dual match that will start no earlier than 10 a.m. All matches for both men and women will be streamed by Amazon Prime and available to regular Prime subscribers at no additional cost. Information on App State’s draw in the tournament will be announced this week.
Other teams in the women’s field are Cal Poly, Colorado, CSUN, Stetson, TCU, UC San Diego and Wyoming.
App State has a 13-8 record this spring after advancing to the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt tournament last week at the same Peachtree City Tennis Center location as the upcoming NIT. The Mountaineers finished in a tie for third place in the regular-season Sun Belt standings at 8-3 for their best league finish since 2019 and second-best since joining the Sun Belt in 2014.
Playing at the No. 2 singles slot for most of the season, freshman Savannah Dada-Mascoll earned first-team All-Sun Belt honors and has a team-best 13-3 record in dual matches. At the No. 1 spot is senior Helena Jansen, who has compiled a 10-8 mark against each of the Mountaineers’ opponents’ best player. Erika Dodridge (7-2), Virginia Poggi (10-3) and Olwyn Ryan-Bovey (5-4) also have winning singles records this season.
App State won the doubles points in both of its Sun Belt Tournament matches and will look to carry that momentum into the NIT as well.
Universal Tennis announced the tournament in March as proof of furthering support of college tennis by the organization, which generates millions in revenue for college programs each year and has streamed over 20,000 matches featuring more than 1,300 college players globally.
The announcement of the NIT Championship follows the launch of the Universal Tennis Collegiate Alliance (“UTCA”), which was created to support the future of all college programs in the United States. The UTCA Executive Committee voted unanimously to support the launch of the NIT Championship.