Ostojic, Porubin earn bids to NCAA individual championships

This Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 photo shows the Babolat Play Pure Drive tennis racket, in Atlanta. The racket contains built-in sensors that measure the impact of the ball on the strings as well as the power and type of swing used by the player. The racket then transmits that information wirelessly to a companion app installed on a smartphone or tablet computer. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita State’s tennis teams will need to win two dual matches next weekend to reach to the NCAA Championship site in Tulsa, Okla., but their top players are already guaranteed a trip.

Men’s tennis senior Tin Ostojic and women’s sophomore Gabriela Porubin were selected Wednesday evening to compete for national singles titles at the 2016 NCAA Individual Championships, May 25-30 at the University of Tulsa’s Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

The men’s and women’s singles draws are made up of 64 players-each and will be released at a later date.

Bids are handed out using the NCAA selection criteria. Generally, the highest-rated player from each conference is awarded an automatic bid, provided he or she is listed in the top-125 of the Oracle/ITA Division I Rankings. Remaining spots in each draw are awarded to at-large qualifiers, based on their current place on the list.

Ostojic earned his second-consecutive bid. Last season the Zagreb, Croatia, native advanced to the Round of 32, becoming the first Shocker since 1982 to win an NCAA match. He finished a win shy of All-America status.

Ostojic (No. 83 ITA) has put together a stellar 76-32 career mark as a Shocker, including a 14-7 record this year. He missed the last four regular season matches to rest an ankle injury but returned to help the Shockers win the MVC Tournament Championship.

Porubin will join a short list of Shocker women who have competed in the singles draw at the NCAA Individuals. Lutfiana Budiharto made back-to-back trips in 2011 and 12, and Madina Rakhim (2007) and Sandy Sadler (1984) round out the group. None advanced past the opening round.

No. 94 in last week’s Oracle/ITA Division I Rankings – Porubin qualified via the Missouri Valley Conference’s automatic bid. Her updated ranking will be unveiled Thursday when the ITA publishes its final regular season list.

A native of Chisinau, Moldova, Porubin (26-9, 15-4 at No. 1 singles) was named MVC Player of the Year last week. She’s won 11-straight decisions and has dropped just one set in her last 14 matches, stretching back to Feb. 27.

Both Shocker teams compete next weekend in the NCAA Team Tennis Championships. The WSU women travel to Coral Gables, Fla. to face TCU in First Round action on Friday, May 13 (time TBA). The Shocker men head to Stillwater, Okla. for a Saturday, May 14 matchup with No. 19 Arkansas (9 a.m. CT).

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