WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW women’s tennis team officially made history late Tuesday when the Seahawks appeared on the NCAA’s big board and collected its first postseason berth with an invitation to compete in the Clemson Regional.

The Seahawks and second-year coach Evan Clark will be joined by the host Tigers, Auburn and Winthrop at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center in Clemson, S.C. UNCW (17-3) will face the 12th-ranked Tigers (20-6) at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 9. The match follows a 10 a.m. pairing between Auburn (16-10) and Winthrop (17-4).

“It’s really exciting and we were a little antsy,” said Clark. “We were excited to see our name up there no matter where we went. Some of the girls were hoping to go to California, but we’ll take Clemson, S.C., for sure.

“Clemson is a tough team and always very good. On any given day, Clemson is one of the best teams in the country and the ACC is one of the best conferences in the country right now. We’ll have our work cut out for us, but we’re exciting about this opportunity to play.”

UNCW is one of 64 teams playing at 16 first and second-round sites around the country. First- and second-round competition takes place May 9-10 and features four teams playing in a single-elimination format. The winner of each site advances to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., where the 16 teams will compete for the national championship May 15-20. The event will be hosted by Georgia. 

The Seahawks enter NCAA play as one of the hottest teams in the country behind three seniors – Olga Blank, Kelly Cameron and Angie Sekely. Since losing to North Florida on April 1, the team has reeled off 12 consecutive victories going into postseason play.

“We’re not going to change much with about a week to prepare. We have finals coming up, so we’ll put in some individual work. We won’t approach practice any differently than we have. We’ll approach the match differently, but not the preparation.”

The team is led by the talented Sekely at the top of the lineup. The Mississauga, Ontario, product, who owns an 18-1 record and 14-match winning streak, was named 2014 Colonial Athletic Association Player-of-the-Year, 2014 CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Performer and recipient of the Thomas V. Moseley Award as one of UNCW’s top student-athletes.

The Seahawks last played on April 20 when Clark’s team edged the College of Charleston, 4-3, in the finals of the CAA Tournament in Williamsburg, Va.

Tournament matches will be regulation dual matches with three eight-game, pro-set doubles played for one team point, followed by six singles matches, each valued at one team point, played in best-of-three sets.  Regular scoring will be used and a 12-point tiebreaker will be played at seven-games-all in doubles and at six-games-all in singles.

Thirty-two conferences, including the CAA, received automatic qualification into the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships.