Five Trojans Start NCAA Singles Run Wednesday
May 22, 2007
USC's stay in Athens, Ga., is extended for five Trojan athletes this week. Following appearances in the 2007 NCAA Team Championships, both the USC men and women will be well represented in the NCAA Singles Championships this week at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Action begins Wednesday, May 23 for two USC women and three USC men. On the women's side, junior Lindsey Nelson is the No. 4 seed, and freshman Sarah Fansler is seeded 9-16. On the men's side, seniors Jamil Al-Agba and Dejan Cvetkovic were selected as unseeded players, and junior Kaes Van't Hof moved up from his original status as an alternate to make his first career appearance in the NCAA Men's Singles Championships.
The USC women reached the NCAA Round of 16 as a team to post a 19-5 overall record in 2007. On Wednesday, Lindsey Nelson opens her campaign for back-to-back trips to the NCAA singles final when the fourth-seeded Trojan faces Chattanooga's Anastasia Zhukova at 11 a.m. ET. Now with a 26-7 overall record, Nelson has already bettered her total win mark from her sophomore season in which she reached and fell in the NCAA final against California's Susie Babos. This year, Nelson beat Babos to emerge as the Pac-10 champion, and her most recent match was an all-out three-set battle with the nation's top-ranked and NCAA's top-seeded player, Audra Cohen - a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 loss in USC's NCAA Round of 16 match. Freshman Sarah Fansler recently secured herself honors as the ITA West Region Rookie of the Year and the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, and holds a 32-10 overall singles record as she enters Wednesday's 12 p.m. ET match against Vanderbilt's Amanda Taylor in the NCAA Singles Round of 64. In her first season at USC, Fansler has accumulated the most singles wins on the team, and was ranked No. 11 in the latest ITA national rankings.
For the USC men, the Trojans posted a strong turnaround and powered their way to a 23-3 overall record with a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Jamil Al-Agba stands as the only of the three to face a fellow unseeded opponent, as he comes up against Oklahoma State's Ivan Pucharov at 1:30 p.m. ET in the NCAA Singles Round of 64. Al-Agba was an All-Pac-10 First Team selection in his senior year, and is making his second appearance in NCAA Singles play. He holds a 20-10 overall singles mark and recently dished out an upset of Notre Dame's top player, No. 7 seed Stephen Bass, during USC's tight win over Notre Dame in the NCAA Round of 16. Bass just happens to have another Trojan on his NCAA docket, as the seventh-seeded Fighting Irish is lined up against USC junior Kaes Van't Hof for a 2:30 p.m ET match in the NCAA Round of 64. Van't Hof's powerful 30-7 overall singles record and #63 national ranking helped lift this junior into his first NCAA Singles appearance. USC senior Dejan Cvetkovic pulled possibly the most difficult opening draw of the bunch, as he is up against Illinois' No. 4 seed Kevin Anderson in a 5 p.m. ET NCAA Round of 64 match on Wednesday. Cvetkovic held down the No. 2 singles slot for the Trojans much of the year, helping USC into the NCAA team action and securing himself his first appearance in NCAA Singles competition with his 18-14 overall singles mark.
Nelson, Fansler, Al-Agba, Van't Hof and Cvetkovic's NCAA competition can be followed online through Georgia's Tournament Central. Click HERE to access results, live scoring and more 2007 NCAA Championship information.
NCAA Men's Round of 64
Wed., May 23 - Athens, Ga.
Jamil Al-Agba (USC) vs. Ivan Pucharov (Oklahoma State) - 1:30 p.m. ET
Kaes Van't Hof (USC) vs. #7 Stephen Bass (Notre Dame) - 2:30 p.m. ET
Dejan Cvetkovic (USC) vs. #4 Kevin Anderson (Illinois) - 5 p.m. ET