GREENWOOD – Some of the top collegiate tennis players in the Southeast will converge in Greenwood this weekend when Lander University will host the Peach Belt Conference Men's and Women's Tennis Tournament at the new Joe Cabri Tennis Center.
The PBC's top eight men's and women's teams, based on the final league standings, will battle to play in Sunday's championship match and earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Division II national tournament.
On the men's side, all eight teams are nationally ranked. Armstrong Atlantic, the seven-time defending PBC Tournament champion, is the top-ranked team in the country, followed by No. 8 Columbus State, No. 9 Lander, No. 10 Francis Marion, No. 12 Augusta State, No. 25 North Georgia, No. 29 Georgia College and No. 33 USC Aiken.
North Georgia and Augusta State, who have been the victims of bad weather for weeks and have been unable to play their regular-season match, will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Cabri Tennis Center to determine the sixth and seventh seeds.
The quarterfinals will begin at 9 a.m., Friday with second-seeded Columbus State playing the loser of the Augusta State/North Georgia match. The other three quarterfinal matches will begin at 5 p.m.: No. 3 Lander vs. the ASU/NG winner; No. 4 Francis Marion vs. No. 5 Georgia College, and No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic vs. No. 8 USC Aiken.
Both semifinal matches will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday, with the championship set for 2 p.m. Sunday.
On the women's side, seven of the teams are nationally ranked. Armstrong Atlantic, the eight-time defending PBC tournament champion, is the third-ranked team in the country, followed by No. 7 Columbus State, No. 10 Francis Marion, No. 11 Clayton State, No. 25 Flagler, No. 30 Georgia College and No. 40 Augusta State.
The first quarterfinal will begin at 9 a.m. Friday with second-seeded Columbus State playing seventh-seeded Clayton State. The other three quarterfinals will begin at 1 p.m.: No. 3 Francis Marion vs. No. 6 USC Aiken; No. 4 Flagler vs. No. 5 Georgia College; and No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic vs. No. 8 Augusta State.
The semifinals are scheduled for 12 p.m., Saturday, with the championship match set for 10 a.m., Sunday.