66th-Ranked Cougars Set to Host Two In-State Rivals

Jan. 18, 2007

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This Week - The Washington State University tennis team, ranked 66th (ITA) nationally opens its 2007 campaign by hosting two in-state rivals, Gonzaga and Eastern Washington, Saturday, Jan. 20...Cougars and the Gonzaga Bulldogs square off at 9 a.m. while the Eagles from Eastern Washington faces WSU at 4 p.m...both matches will be played in the Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

Scouting the Bulldogs - Gonzaga returns eight players from last years team...GU signed Kristen MacWilliam, a freshman from Phoenix, Ariz., who contributed early with a second place finish in the Gopher Flight of the Gopher Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota...junior Emily Anderson led the team with seven victories during the fall season...Gonzaga participated in three fall tournaments, Gopher Invitational, Red Lion Invitational and the Montana Fall Tournament...all-time the Cougars hold a 12-0 record against the Bulldogs.

Scouting the Eagles - Last season the Eagles finished 7-13, which equaled their win total from the past four seasons (7-59)...Eastern participated in two tournaments during fall play, their own Red Lion Invitation and the University of Oregon Duck Classic....EWU enters Saturday's match with one senior and three juniors...Rachel Berger, a sophomore, finished the fall play with a 3-2 record and junior Kasey Knox posted a 4-1 record during the fall campaign...WSU leads the all-time series against the Eagles, 23-2.

Returnees - Seniors Marjolein van de Ven and Amy Toth and junior Ekaterina Burduli head into the dual match portion of the season with high hopes after last seasons success...already Burduli has won 10 matches and claimed a tournament title at the BYU Invitational...van de Ven is second on the team in wins as she now has seven...last season the three combined for 72 wins.

Newcomers - Freshman Ashley Spicer and redshirt freshman Anastesia Opata prepare for their first collegiate dual match after posting impressive fall statistics...Spicer tallied a 6-4 record during fall play...Opata reached the quarterfinal at the BYU Invitational.

Rankings - For the third straight season the Cougars will begin the spring schedule with a national ranking...WSU enters 2007 with a team ranking of 66th...Burduli, after defeating two nationally-ranked opponents during the fall season, earned a ranking of 85th...Toth, van de Ven and Burduli also represented WSU in the regional rankings...Toth's ranking was No. 23, van de Ven earned the 26th spot and Burduli culminated the rankings with the 17th position.

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