North Carolina Central won its second national championship in Atlanta in less than 12 months. This time it was the Lady Eagles Tennis team walking away with the coveted trophy. North Carolina Central’s women’s and Tennessee State’s men’s tennis teams walked away with the championship trophies from the 22nd Annual HBCU National Tennis Championships held at the South Fulton Tennis Center in Atlanta.
The competition featured 14 men’s teams and 17 women’s teams representing six conferences from Division I, Division II, and NAIA. The competition took place at the newly renovated South Fulton Tennis Center and included both singles and doubles flights. Each match was a chance for players to earn points for their respective teams ranging from one to 25 points. The team with the highest total was awarded the HBCU National Tennis Championship.
Players were seeded for the eight-person draws using the most up-to-date World Tennis Number (WTN) information adopted by the ITA. Teams accumulated points using the formula below
Consolation Round Matches: 1.0 pt
Round of 64 Matches: 2.0 pts
Round of 32 Matches: 4.0 pts
Round of 16 Matches: 8.0 pts
Quarterfinal Matches: 12.0 pts
Semifinals Matches: 15.0 pts
3rd Place Playoff Winner (Singles Only): 18.0 pts
Finalist: 20.0 pts
Champion: 25.0 pts
Gregory Green, Head Tennis Coach at Tuskegee University, underscored the importance of the fall tournament. “This is a great opportunity for players to get better by playing against some really tough competition,” said Green.
Coach Green and his peers took advantage of the HBCU recruiting fair on Saturday morning to promote their tennis programs to high school, middle school, and elementary school students. Benedict College head tennis coach Gary Taylor pitched the 11 conference rings won by his teams in addition to the sound academics the college has to offer incoming students.
NCCU sent all eight of their women’s competitors to the quarterfinals before play was suspended by inclement weather. Second-place finisher Florida A&M had five athletes reach the women’s quarterfinal round. Alabama State finished in the third spot having three players reach the round of 16.
FAMU and NCCU sent doubles teams to the semifinals in Flight A and Flight B. Both of the Lady Rattlers tandems reached the finals.
Tennessee State won the men’s title with 88 points scored. Alabama A&M followed with a close second-place finish. NAIA’s Xavier proved it was up to the competition finishing in third place, a point ahead of 2022 Champion Alabama State.
|Men’s Final Standings||Women’s Final Standing|
|Tennessee State University – 88||North Carolina Central University – 108|
|Alabama A&M University – 83||Florida A&M University – 93|
|Xavier University of Louisiana – 65||Alabama State University – 52|
|Alabama State University – 64||Tennessee State University – 42|
|North Carolina Central University – 52||Delaware State University – 40|
|Morgan State University – 36||Jackson State University – 34|
|Dillard University – 28||Xavier University of Louisiana – 33|
|Jackson State University – 28||Shaw University – 32|
|Tuskegee University – 24||Alabama A&M University – 32|
|Shaw University – 10||Dillard University – 26|
|Lane College – 8||Morgan State University – 24|
|Benedict College – 4||Tuskegee University – 12|
|LeMoyne-Owen College – 0||Albany State University – 12|
|Southern University – 0||Benedict College – 4|
|Southern University – 4|
|LeMoyne-Owen College – 0|
|Savannah State University – 0|
About the HBCU National Tennis Championship
The HBCU National Tennis Championship has always stood for providing schools with the opportunity to compete in a tournament during the Fall to allow players to meet, compete, and be crowned National Champions at the end of the tournament, both individually and as teams. The competition is open to HBCU schools interested in participating. Every year, we have over 15 collegiate institutions (over 30 men’s and women’s tennis programs) with close to 250 players competing in slated events, for both singles and doubles.
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All photos by Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports