MINNEAPOLIS -- Five female tennis players at St. Cloud State University have won a preliminary injunction to prevent the school from eliminating their sport for now.

According to the court order, the preliminary injunction halts SCSU's plans to eliminate women's tennis while their lawsuit against the school and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities proceeds.

The players filed suit claiming the elimination of women's tennis would violate the Title IX requirements ensuring equality between men's and women's athletics. They also claim a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Chief Judge John Tunheim of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota ruled the plaintiffs have demonstrated a fair chance of winning the case based on the Title IX violation claim. Judge Tunheim also ruled the injunction request met the other preliminary factors of irreparable harm, balance of hardship and public interest.

The ruling temporarily prevents SCSU from eliminating the program, firing coaches and restricting the players from access to facilities, coaches, training and competition.