April 15, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I.--The seeds and bracket for the BIG EAST Championship were announced on Monday night and Villanova (13-8) has drawn the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament. That seed enables the Wildcats to avoid a first round play-in game and Villanova will take on No. 3 seed USF in a quarterfinal match on Friday afternoon. The conference tournament is being hosted by Notre Dame at the Courtney Tennis Center in South Bend.
Few teams could be hotter than the Wildcats as the BIG EAST Championship begins. Villanova has won seven straight matches in the past 11 days and closed out the regular season with a 4-3 victory over Saint Joseph's on Monday afternoon. The story of the Wildcats success in dual matches this season has been a great balance between singles and doubles results.
Villanova posted at least a .500 record in each of the three doubles spots during the season, including dominant records of 15-6 (.714) and 16-5 (.762) at the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles slots, respectively. Junior Thomas O'Brian (Guilford, Conn.) and sophomore Kelly Donaldson (Broomfield, Colo.) have teamed together at No. 1 doubles in every dual match, while junior Ryan Peyton (Newport Beach, Calif.) and freshman Chris Seitz (Pennington, N.J.) are currently 15-4 (.789) as a team at No. 3 doubles.
O'Brien is a "20-20" winner for the season, with an overall record of 23-11 (.676) in doubles play to go along with a 20-12 (.625) mark in singles action. He went 12-9 (.571) in singles during dual competition, with all of those matches coming at the top spot in the lineup.
Freshman Max Levine (Lubbock, Texas) has been the top singles player for the Wildcats and is 23-6 (.793) for the season, including a mark of 15-4 in dual matches. He has won 10 of his last 11 matches entering the conference tournament.
Villanova will face a Bulls team in the quarterfinals which is 10-9 on the season. USF has won three straight matches and four of six entering the conference tournament. Friday's quarterfinal match will begin at Noon, and the winner will advance to the semifinals against either No. 2 seed Louisville or No. 7 seed DePaul. The loser will be relegated to the consolation bracket.
The BIG EAST Championship is a double-elimination format and the tournament champion receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.