Belgrade’s Sadie Hammond is going to test her tennis skills against the best collegiate players in the country soon.

The University of Tennessee freshman qualified to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship later this month. Her seeding and opponent will be also be announced at a later date.

“It’s so exciting to have all the hard work I put in this year pay off for a chance to compete in the NCAA Tournament,” Hammond said in a school press release. “It’s even more exciting to be able to play as a freshman. It’s a great opportunity for me to play against the best players in college tennis, and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of this opportunity.”

Hammond has already faced some of the top competition in the nation as the Volunteers’ No. 1 singles player. She leads the team with seven wins over ranked opponents and 21 wins overall. She was also half of the Vols’ No. 1 doubles team.

She was named All-Southeastern Conference second team and became just the fourth Volunteer to make the SEC All-Freshman team. She is currently ranked 51st in the nation after rising as high as No. 42.

One of six freshmen on the Tennessee roster, Hammond led the Vols to an 8-17 overall record. They lost to Mississippi in the first round of the SEC tournament to finish 1-12 in the conference, although Hammond won her singles match over 29th-ranked Arianne Hartono. It was her second win over a Top-30 opponent this year.

The singles championships are May 25-30 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hammond will have to wait until the official draw is released on May 24 to find out who her opponent will be.

Despite that and other unknowns that come with being a freshman in the tournament, Hammond is taking high expectations with her to Tulsa.

“I’ve always dreamed big, so my goal is to win the championship,” Hammond said. “I have been putting in the work, so I’m going to lay everything on the line in Tulsa, play with confidence, and believe in myself that I can win it all.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

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Twitter: @RAWmaterial33