Franchise Opportunities in Raleigh, NC

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Baby Boomers and The Need for An Independent Lifestyle

Statistics show that most baby boomers have a strong desire to remain independent as they age. These hardworking Americans are turning their noses up at the idea of spending their golden years in a strange nursing home. They have an unshakeable yearning to live life at home as long as possible. This factor, combined with advances in modern medicine that are helping seniors live longer, has set the stage for more home care franchise opportunities than ever before.

Millions of Americans Need Home Care Right Now

Research by the University of Alabama shows that more than seven million people in the U.S. need some form of home care. This fact is bolstered by the rising trend of "aging in place." Seniors not only want to be self-sufficient - they wish to remain at home, where the surroundings are familiar and family is near. Always Best Care nurtures this need by providing quality in-home care that helps both the seniors in need and their families.

When you implement Always Best Care's proven business model, your senior care franchise in Raleigh, NC will become a pillar in your community. You will be part of a highly regarded, reputable organization that others will respect. While you refine your reputation and earn respect, you'll be living an entrepreneurial lifestyle that lets you make a difference in other people's lives.

Recession Resistant, Essential, and Rewarding

Great entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for recession-resistant franchising opportunities. In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, in-home care is now an essential service -- one that will continue to be needed, regardless of the economy. No matter what hurdles we must overcome, one thing is for sure: people will always need care.

At Always Best Care, our proven franchise model enables hundreds of dedicated franchisees the opportunity to achieve financial freedom in the most uncertain times. Our award-winning training program provides franchisees with the tools to succeed and the stability they need.

Always Best Care is one of the fastest-growing senior care franchise systems because our franchisees are more than just business owners, they are compassionate professionals dedicated to helping others. Perhaps most importantly, their home care business lets them care for people in their community while building a rewarding business for themselves.

Corporate-support

Corporate Support

Our experienced corporate team works with new in-home care franchise owners to provide comprehensive training for you and your staff, marketing resources, performance metrics, turnkey operating tech, systemwide benchmarking, national accounts, and customer satisfaction support.

Local-suppor

Local Support

Your local Area Representative and our National Directors work with all new franchisees to arrange mentoring opportunities, communications and team-building strategies, and ongoing strategic planning. That way, you have a leg up in your market and access to key resources to build your confidence as you develop your business.

Assistance-with-state-licensing

Assistance with State Licensing

Your Always Best Care franchise development specialist will make sure you have contact information in your state to complete any state licensure requirements. We link you to the nation's top health care licensure consultants, thus allowing you to discover the most cost-effective and time-efficient procedures to get your license, launch your business, and begin serving your community.

Exclusive-protected-territories

Exclusive, Protected Territories

Each Always Best Care franchise territory is protected and exclusive to you using zip codes in your state.

Our powerful combination of corporate and local support paves a clear and proven path for new Always Best Care franchise owners to succeed. And with your initial training, field training, and ongoing support, you always have access to Always Best Care repesentatives as you grow your senior home care business.

Get Started on Your Journey

If you have made it this far, it's now time to learn more about Always Best Care and the enriching opportunity that lies ahead. If you are ready to turn your dreams of living an entrepreneurial lifestyle into reality, you're closer than ever before. By downloading our free E-Book , you're taking the exciting next steps towards building a home care business that makes a true difference in your community.

Learn More About this Opportunity

Latest News in Raleigh, NC

NC denies Raleigh charter school’s appeal. Torchlight Academy told to close in June.

A Raleigh charter school will have to close at the end of June after state leaders refused its request to allow it to stay open next school year.On Thursday, the State Board of Education unanimously rejected Torchlight Academy’s appeal of the board’s prior decision to terminate its charter. State board members cited ongoing concerns about Torchlight’s financial health and its ability to meet the educational needs of special-education students.“It was their hope that we would allow them to stay open for t...

A Raleigh charter school will have to close at the end of June after state leaders refused its request to allow it to stay open next school year.

On Thursday, the State Board of Education unanimously rejected Torchlight Academy’s appeal of the board’s prior decision to terminate its charter. State board members cited ongoing concerns about Torchlight’s financial health and its ability to meet the educational needs of special-education students.

“It was their hope that we would allow them to stay open for this next calendar year,” state board member Amy White said Thursday. “After hearing all of the information presented and asking questions, great dialogue back and forth, the members of the committee voted unanimously to recommend to the state board that it uphold its prior termination decision.”

Torchlight could go to court to try to stay open. But state board members instead urged Torchlight to work with the state Department of Public Instruction to help students finish the school year and transition to other schools for this fall.

Torchlight is among a trio of charter schools who’ve fallen under intense state scrutiny recently over their financial practices.

Last month, the state board voted to immediately close Three Rivers Academy in Bertie County, citing an “immediate threat” to students, school employees and the public. Three Rivers had been managed by the same person who used to manage Torchlight.

Last week, the State Auditor’s Office released a report accusing Bridges Academy in Wilkes County of falsifying enrollment numbers to get more than $400,000 in state funding it wasn’t entitled to receive, the Associated Press reported. The audit also accused Bridges, which has since closed, of misusing almost $79,000 in taxpayer funds to support a preschool.

On Thursday, the state board voted to file a claim seeking $483,547 from Bridges.

Charter schools are taxpayer funded schools that are exempt from some of the rules that traditional public schools must follow. There are 203 charter schools open this school year.

Torchlight opened in 1999 and is one of the state’s oldest charter schools. It serves 600 mostly Black and Hispanic elementary and middle school students.

Many of Torchlight’s difficulties with the state stemmed from the school’s relationship with the McQueen family that had run the school.

Torchlight had been run by Torchlight Academy Schools, a for-profit company owned by Don McQueen. He also served as executive director of the school.

His wife, Cynthia McQueen, was Torchlight’s principal. Their daughter, Shawntrice Andrews, was accused of altering records of some special-education students when she served as head of the exceptional children’s program.

Amid the conflict of interest and fiscal concerns, the state board voted in March to revoke Torchlight’s charter. In response, Torchlight’s board of directors fired the management company, the McQueens, their daughter and their son-in-law. whose company had been cleaning the school.

Torchlight brought in former Orange County Superintendent Randy Bridges to run the school.

Torchlight hasn’t completely severed its ties because it leases its middle school building from Don McQueen.

Torchlight’s board asked the state for a second chance, citing efforts to address the state’s concerns.

But at a state board committee meeting last week, DPI staff cited ongoing concerns about Torchlight’s financial stability, including how it will have to return some federal money because it can’t document how it was spent.

DPI also said that the education plans for dozens of special-education students will need to be revised because they’re no longer in compliance.

Stephon Bowens, the attorney representing Torchlight, said they may have to go to court to force the McQueens to turn over records requested by the state.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that the taxpayers dollars are returned,” Bowens told the state board committee last week.

The state board cited three reasons on Thursday for standing by its decision to close Torchlight:

? Ongoing concerns with the current and future financial health of the school.

? Continued concerns with the school board’s ability to provide the oversight and leadership necessary to correct the school’s contractual, educational and fiscal mismanagement.

? Ongoing significant concerns with the school’s ability to meet and serve the needs of exceptional children for both compensatory education and daily instructional delivery.

The board could have ordered Torchlight to close immediately, like it had done with Three Rivers. But White, who chaired the committee that heard Torchlight’s appeal, praised the efforts of Bridges to stabilize the school.

“The school’s presentation gave the committee confidence that because Dr. Randy Bridges had assumed temporary leadership of the school, DPI would be able to work with the school In the coming months to minimize the disruption to the students that would be caused by immediately closing the school before the end of the school year,” White said.

This story was originally published May 5, 2022 11:42 AM.

5 Best Arborists in Raleigh, NC

Raleigh’s Best Arborists:The top rated Arborists in Raleigh, NC are:ArborMax Tree is Raleigh’s most qualified tree service for your tree service project. Tree removal, tree pruning, tree care, and a variety of other tree services are available in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. Arbormax Tree Service is a family-owned company. From its headquarters in Raleigh, they serve the ...

Raleigh’s Best Arborists:

The top rated Arborists in Raleigh, NC are:

ArborMax Tree is Raleigh’s most qualified tree service for your tree service project. Tree removal, tree pruning, tree care, and a variety of other tree services are available in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. Arbormax Tree Service is a family-owned company. From its headquarters in Raleigh, they serve the whole triangle area. Their expert tree service team has more combined expertise than any two of their competitors combined. At least one qualification in the tree service sector is held by each employee.

Some are ISA-certified arborists, while others are certified tree care safety professionals and tree care specialists. So, whether you need tree removal, pruning, or any other tree service, you can trust that they are qualified and ready to help.

Products/Services:

Tree Care, Crane Assisted Tree Removal, Emergency Tree Removal, Tree Pruning and Trimming, Stump Grinding, Deep Root Tree Fertilization, Soil Repair, Cabling, and Bracing

LOCATION:

Address: 2713 Renfrow Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603 Phone: (919) 412-6790 Website: www.arbormaxtree.com

REVIEWS:

“Arbor Max is absolutely the best tree removal company, bar none. Britney is the kindest administrator and has great people skills. She will answer every question you have. Jeremy, the arborist, is extremely knowledgeable about any and all trees. The crew that came out was Amazing and Efficient. And the crane operator was on point. He even came back when we found a stump wasn’t ground down far enough. He will be back for the bigger stump with his larger grinder. I really can’t say enough good things about this company. They are our go-to for tree removal from now on.” – Rebecca G.

Raleigh Tree Service serves Greater Raleigh, NC, and the Triangle with safe, affordable, and effective tree services. The goal is to safely tackle your tree problem while exceeding your expectations and staying within budget. Whether it’s a dangerous tree in your yard or an unsightly stump in the front yard, they’re here to help. They’ve always chosen to deliver the greatest service possible. They are adamant that their character and reputation must always take precedence over their profits. You can count on them to return your calls, show up for appointments on time, and clean up after themselves.

Products/Services:

Tree Removal, Tree Trimming & Pruning, Lot Clearing, Stump Grinding & Removal, Emergency Tree Services

LOCATION:

Address: 5300 Atlantic Ave Suite 106-4, Raleigh, NC 27609 Phone: (919) 889-5783 Website: www.raleigh-tree-service.com

REVIEWS:

“Will and crew did fabulous work from start to finish. This is our second time using them on tree removal, tree trimming, and stump grinding project. They are timely, efficient, precise, and go out of their way to take care of your existing property even with all the heavy machinery used on site. They thoroughly clean up before leaving too. Will continues to be a great resource for removal advice which can help with difficult, permanent decisions. Pricing is very reasonable too. We will continue using their services for regular maintenance to come.” – Dallas W.

Ashland Tree Service is a tree service and tree removal company situated in Raleigh, North Carolina. They provide a wide range of tree services at a reasonable cost. They provide tree service and tree removal, as well as pruning and stump grinding. Ashland Tree Service has been providing professional tree service to Raleigh, other portions of Wake County, and the neighboring communities in North Carolina for over 30 years. Ashland Tree Service provides exceptional prices without sacrificing quality. A professional and qualified arborist oversees all work. They are committed to providing you with excellent tree service at a reasonable cost.

They’re a full-service tree removal and maintenance company. They strive for excellence in customer service and feel that every job should leave all customers completely impressed. Allow Ashland Tree Service to assist you in maintaining the health and beauty of your trees. You can count on them to get the job done well since they are dedicated to providing excellent customer service and producing high-quality work. They provide experienced tree removal services to both residential and commercial customers. They also provide land clearing and cleanup services for your backyard or lawn area. They go to great lengths to ensure that your property is cleaner than it was before they started.

Products/Services:

Tree Trimming, Tree Pruning, Stump Grinding, Debris Removal, Tree & Shrub Planting, Tree Fertilizing, Insect & Disease Management, Tree Risk Evaluation, And Tree Mulching

LOCATION:

Address: 7205 Pinewood Ln, Raleigh, NC 27616 Phone: (919) 720-6550 Website: www.treeserviceraleigh.org

REVIEWS:

“Steven and his crew removed two huge pine trees in our backyard, some smaller trees, and trimmed branches from a large Maple tree in our front yard that was hanging over our roof. Steven provided a free estimate and was able to get the trees down the very next day. They did a great job and everything went smoothly.” – Michael F.

A+ Tree & Crane Services, Inc. has proudly served the Triangle and adjacent areas as a locally founded and controlled company since 1996. They have a solid reputation for high-quality work and offer some of the cheapest tree services in the area, as well as a variety of solutions for any hard outdoor project, dating back to 1996. They have the expertise you can rely on, and they serve both residential and commercial clients. During their many years in the tree service industry, they’ve worked with insurance companies, property management firms, and homeowners, as well as providing hurricane relief.

Your happiness, as well as the safety of you, your house, and all personnel, is the top priority at A+ Tree & Crane Services. Their commitment to excellent customer service and happiness is paramount. They respect all customers’ happiness and want to help them become long-term, recurring customers, whether it’s a modest trimming project or a large-scale removal operation.

Products/Services:

Tree Trimming, Tree Pruning, Tree Removal, and Stump Grinding

LOCATION:

Address: 5540 Centerview Dr, Raleigh, NC 27606 Phone: (919) 854-0020 Website: www.aplustrees.com

REVIEWS:

“I competitively quoted six companies in the area and A+ won my business for several reasons. They had great customer responsiveness, had great reviews, provided a detailed quote and liability information, offered the best holistic value, and proved to be a quality service. A+ did a terrific job with removing two 75′ tall, 32″ diameter base loblolly pines that were close to my home. I highly recommend them for tree services.” – Jeff K.

Lineberger’s Tree Services Inc is a family-owned and operated business that strives to deliver the best pricing, service, and professionalism to its customers. Its success is based on referrals and repeated business. They are fully insured, employ an ISA Certified Arborist, and have been providing service to the Triangle community for over 23 years.

Lineberger’s Tree Service, Inc., and Crane Guy, Inc. are both family-owned and operated businesses. Beverly Lineberger, Brent’s wife, is an NCSU graduate with a double major in Biological Sciences and Science Education, as well as a former NCSU Forestry and Wildlife staff member. Brent Lineberger is a graduate of NCSU Forestry and Wildlife, a former adjunct faculty member at NCSU Wildlife, and a Raleigh local.

Products/Services:

Tree & Shrub Pruning, Tree Removal, Insect & Disease Control, Crane Services, Stump Grinding, Air Spading, Landscape Design & Installation, Hauling & Grading, and More

LOCATION:

Address: 2816 Tryon Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603 Phone: (919) 834-0055 Website: www.linebergertree.com

REVIEWS:

“I had a large tree removed and limbs removed on other trees. I was fully satisfied with all aspects of the service. The team was polite, professional, and knowledgeable. They arrived on time, did fantastic work, and cleaned up completely before they left. They made sure that I was able to provide input on exactly which limbs to remove from our large trees, even while they were up in the tree making the choices. I also purchase wood chips from Lineberger’s on a regular basis, and I am satisfied with that service as well. I would absolutely recommend Lineberger’s Tree Service to others.” – Greg B.

Mark has lived in Detroit, MI his whole life. He has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and True Dakotan. As a journalist for Kev’s Best, Mark covers national and local businesses.

3-D printed reef could restore NC river, boost economy after 8-year journey

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A project eight years in the making is using cutting-edge technology to not only sustain an important reef in the Pamlico River but to also provide economic benefits to a community of recreational anglers.On Tuesday, a 3-D printed artificial reef will be submerged in the brackish waters of the Pamlico River near Bayview, North Carolina.The printed reef will be assembled using 100 cubes, each measuring 3 feet by 3 feet and weighing roughly 1,850 pounds, a news release from the ...

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A project eight years in the making is using cutting-edge technology to not only sustain an important reef in the Pamlico River but to also provide economic benefits to a community of recreational anglers.

On Tuesday, a 3-D printed artificial reef will be submerged in the brackish waters of the Pamlico River near Bayview, North Carolina.

The printed reef will be assembled using 100 cubes, each measuring 3 feet by 3 feet and weighing roughly 1,850 pounds, a news release from the Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina said on Thursday.

To assemble the reef, the cubes will be transported by a barge to the Bayview Artificial Reef site at marker AR-291. They will be deployed about 100 yards off of the shoreline near the mouth of Bath Creek.

“Our mission is to advocate for North Carolina coastal resources, not only for those of us currently using them but also for future generations, so we’re always looking for new partnerships and opportunities to develop similar projects that enhance the health and viability of our fisheries,” said David Sneed, CCA NC Executive Director.

A Raleigh-based company called Natrx designed and produced the sand and cement reef cubes using a new type of 3-D printing technology known as “dry forming.”

The reef was made to have natural-like textures and curved surfaces that are conducive to sustaining aquatic life. The materials used, according to the release, are known to attract oysters and mussels as well as crustaceans, invertebrates and other organisms.

The small crevices and holes in the structures will provide a refuge for regionally important fish species such as striped bass and speckled trout — major draws for recreational anglers.

The Bayview Reef site will encompass 1.8 underwater acres, the Coastal Conservation Association said.

The 100 reef blocks will be spaced 10 feet apart in rows with 40 feet between each row. This will allow multiple boats to fish the area without concerns of crowding.

In short, the artificial reef is designed to achieve a thriving habitat for fish and other marine life. But in what ways is this made possible with these adaptive structures?

Well, first and foremost, the Coastal Conservation Association says the reef will improve the reproduction of marine life because it will be creating a better reservoir which, by improving the biological productivity, could — in the long term — revitalize the entire ecosystem.

There will also be human impacts accomplished as part of the project.

Improving the fish stock will provide an economic boost to the surrounding Beaufort County community through increased recreational fishing.

The launch of the reef can be viewed by the public Tuesday morning at 1907 Bayview Road in the town of Bath, North Carolina. Remarks will begin at 9 a.m. with dock departure at 10 a.m.

The reef launch represents a coordinated effort between the Coastal Conservation Association and the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.

“Our hope is that this is just the beginning of an ongoing partnership with the NC DMF that will result in more habitat improvements in coastal North Carolina,” said Bobby Rice, CCA NC Board VP for Habitat. “We want to do our part to help improve our coastal ecosystem with the construction of more reefs, including oyster reefs and ARs for recreational anglers.”

Once put in place, the Bayview Reef will be one of 25 estuarine artificial reefs maintained by the DMF.

The department’s reef programs receive funding from the North Carolina General Assembly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration Program, the North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License Grant Program and from private donations.

Additional donors who made the Bayview Reef possible include individual donors and corporate partners Grady-White Boats, Nutrien, Toadfish Outfitters, and the Building Conservation Trust. Deployment of the Natrx modules is funded by a USFWS Sportfish Restoration grant awarded to the Division of Marine Fisheries Artificial Reef Program.

Entrepreneur looks to build Raleigh’s first tiny home community for ‘digital nomads’

A local entrepreneur is looking to build Raleigh’s first tiny home village since the city revised its codes in December to encourage their construction.The community planned for 3708 Rock Quarry Road is being marketed as a hub for “digital nomads,” those who work remotely and like to travel, a growing demographic since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.Behind the concept is Zach Milburn, a cryptocurrency investor and former app developer who grabbed headlines last year when he listed his Wake County home for ...

A local entrepreneur is looking to build Raleigh’s first tiny home village since the city revised its codes in December to encourage their construction.

The community planned for 3708 Rock Quarry Road is being marketed as a hub for “digital nomads,” those who work remotely and like to travel, a growing demographic since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Behind the concept is Zach Milburn, a cryptocurrency investor and former app developer who grabbed headlines last year when he listed his Wake County home for $5.5 million because it came with an NFT. An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a token used to represent ownership of unique items, more commonly art and collectibles.

The homes, which people would pay an annual fee to live in for weeks or months at a time, are open-concept, futuristic and glassy.

“We don’t even call it a tiny home, but most people would see it that way. It kind of has shipping container vibes to it,” Milburn said.

Nomad Nation, as the company is called, has raised $1 million for the effort so far. The chief investors, Milbrun said, have been North Carolina real estate developer Jim Anthony and Balaji Srinivasan, a writer and former chief technology officer at cryptocurrency company Coinbase.

Anthony said he recognizes the nature of work is changing as high-speed internet becomes ubiquitous.

“I think more and more people who are dissatisfied with the life they’re leading may actually discover it’s a lifestyle that appeals to them,” he said. “This is kind of the next evolution, where all you’re really carrying around is your computer and your smartphone and some clothing and essentials.”

Milburn, in a separate interview, shared that vision.

“I think we’re still underestimating the impact on humanity remote work can have. We just want to build a platform that enables people to do it more seamlessly and enhances the experience,” he said. “Real estate is one of the slowest-moving, slowest-changing industries. It’s a big challenge, but it’s a big opportunity.”

Milburn said the grand vision is to be a “multi-billion dollar business with locations in most countries.”

As they progress in Raleigh, they’re also looking into placing hubs in Miami and Salt Lake City.

Miami was a given because of its tropical weather, sandy beaches and “great vibe.” Salt Lake City, where Milburn is from, was selected for its proximity to the mountains and outdoors appeal throughout all four seasons.

They initially thought Austin would be part of the mix, but soaring real estate prices there dampened the company’s enthusiasm.

The digital nomads can stay in any of the hubs for any length of time with their memberships.

A Nomad Nation community already exists, at around 150 members and adding a person a day, Milburn said. Their app connects a community of remote workers and hosts meet-ups quarterly, in locations including Utah, Mexico and Portugal.

It costs $240 per year. “We are losing money on it right now,” Milburn said, though they’re soon upping the price to $50 per month, plus a $1,000 sign-on.

The Raleigh City Council voted unanimously in December to change zoning and building codes to encourage homes under 600 square feet, both on their own and in groups called “cottage courts.”

“All the stars aligned, and things just fell into place at the right time,” Milburn said of the change.

Katie Dombrowski, communication manager for the Planning and Development Department, said a few cottage court developments have been approved, though none has secured a permit.

Milburn’s property on Rock Quarry Road is zoned for 64 units. They’re planning to build 40 tiny homes.

Nomad is currently building a tiny home prototype on another property in Raleigh, which will help give the company a better idea of how much they cost to construct and maintain.

Plus, when construction wraps up this summer, the revenue generated from renting it on Airbnb will help raise money for the grand vision. Milburn said they would “experiment” with nightly and monthly rates.

“It’s a massive undertaking. It takes a ton of capital,” he said. “Over the next few years, we really want to hit scale.”

Milburn, 31, is not new to the tiny home world. He bought his first property, where he and his wife would live, in a trailer park in Raleigh. They couldn’t qualify for a mortgage at the time and wanted to do things cheaply.

“I’ve been following the tiny home space for probably seven years,” Milburn said. “I designed what was essentially a tiny home, but it got rejected over 10 times in Raleigh because it was too small. Over time we kinda blew the house up little by little.”

Now they’re living in their own castle, the custom-built NFT house, and renting parts of it out on Airbnb.

Milburn’s home (and NFT) did not sell last year, though Milburn said he had a few investors send real estate agents out to take a look.

“I got way too much interest. I had people messaging me threats on social media,” he said.

NFTs are controversial. Most require vast amounts of energy to buy and sell, and many question whether the greenhouse gases are worth it. Some simply think the whole concept is a scam.

“I didn’t actually plan to sell it. It was kind of a joke,” Milburn said.

Getting a $5.5 million-offer could have swayed him, however.

“I really really love this place. It was a labor of love building it and i would have really been sad to see it go,” he said. “But that’s the price I probably would have sold it for.”

This story was originally published April 11, 2022 11:09 AM.

Women’s Tennis Central: NCAA Regionals

RALEIGH, N.C. – Heading back to where it opened up the 2022 season, the Tennessee women's tennis team is set and ready to roll in the Tar Heel State, playing the Raleigh Regional for the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Tournament at J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center on NC State's campus.The Lady Volunteers (15-9) will square off with the champion of the Atlantic 10 Conference, Virginia Commonwealth (18-6), in the First Round, beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 7. Fans can view live stats for the opening match b...

RALEIGH, N.C. – Heading back to where it opened up the 2022 season, the Tennessee women's tennis team is set and ready to roll in the Tar Heel State, playing the Raleigh Regional for the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Tournament at J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center on NC State's campus.

The Lady Volunteers (15-9) will square off with the champion of the Atlantic 10 Conference, Virginia Commonwealth (18-6), in the First Round, beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 7. Fans can view live stats for the opening match by clicking here.

All matches throughout the NCAA Championship will be streamed through the TennisONE app. A QR code that sends fans directly to the app can be found here.

The winner of the Tennessee/VCU match will take on the winner of sixth-seeded NC State vs. William & Mary on Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. ET.

HEAD COACH ALISON OJEDA "It is tournament time and we know exactly what that means. This is what we have worked towards all year. The NCAA tournament is the ultimate win-or-go-home situation and it creates a palpable level of energy and focus. The typical conversations about how to motivate the team that Jarryd Chaplin and I have - we barely have to think about it right now because the intense drive that is in each player as the end of the season looms near is a one-of-a-kind feeling. I wish we could bottle up this unique brand of drive and focus and use it all year long."

"When asked what they want to have achieved at the end of this tournament run., this team definitively said that they want to go all the way. As coaches, we acknowledged that and talked with the team about what that means. It means focusing on each match, one at a time. It means we can't get distracted by who we might see later as the tournament continues, we have to put 100 percent of our focus into the match in front of us. We have to respect each opponent we see in this tournament and focus on one match at a time, one set at a time, one point at a time. A tournament run is made up of individual steps and our team is ready to run."

LAST TIME OUT Tennessee advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Championship in Gainesville, Fla. UT suffered a heartbreaking defeat to No. 14 Georgia, 4-3, in the semifinal match but picked up a big ranked win in the quarters, defeating second-seeded and No. 12-ranked Auburn, 4-2.

Following the tournament, Elza Tomase was named to the All-Tournament Team after going 6-0 in both singles and doubles.

SCOUTING THE RAMS VCU enters the NCAA tournament after cruising through the A-10 Tournament in Orlando, Fla., shutting out Richmond, Davidson and Fordham. The Rams only played two regular season conference matches and swept both of them.

Paola Diaz-Delgado has been the leader of the VCU team, going 19-4 in singles and playing the entire season at the No. 1 position. She has been similarly impressive in doubles play with Laura Astudillo, accumulating a 13-1 ledger playing at No. 2.

RANKING THE LADY VOLS UT now has two top-50 doubles pairings and two singles players in the top-75 of the final ITA Individual Rankings heading into the tournament.

Singles Rebeka Mertena – No. 29 Tenika McGiffin – No. 73

Doubles Daria Kuczer/Tenika McGiffin – No. 21 Esther Adeshina/Rebeka Mertena – No. 41

ALL-TIME SERIES The Lady Vols have only played VCU three times in program history with all three meetings in the NCAA Championship. Tennessee is 3-0 against the Rams, though the teams have not met since 2013.

POSTSEASON AWARDS SPLASH Tennessee had a tremendous showing in the SEC postseason awards. Tenika McGiffin was named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and made First Team All-SEC. Three Lady Vols in total were on the All-SEC charts. Joining McGiffin was Rebeka Mertena on the First Team and Elza Tomase on the Second Team. Tomase was also recognized with her name on the SEC All-Tournament Team.

CHASIN' A HUNDO Head coach Alison Ojeda is only two victories away from 100 at the helm of the Tennessee women's tennis program. She would become just the third coach in program history to reach the century mark.

PUNCHING THE TICKET TO ILLINOIS Three Lady Vols in total will be play in the NCAA Singles & Doubles Championship in Champaign, Ill. later this month. Mertena qualified for the singles draw while McGiffin and Daria Kuczer will team up in the doubles bracket.

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