Cougar Tennis Team Selected for 2008 NCAA Championships

April 29, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. - The No. 42 Washington State University women's tennis team was one of 64 teams named to the 2008 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships field, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

The Cougars (16-9) will face No. 27 Louisiana State University as part of the four-team bracket May 9 at Berkeley, Calif. No. 8 California and Army round out the 1st/2nd round site with the winners of the two matches meeting May 10. The winner of that match advances to the NCAA Finals site in Tulsa, Okla., May 15-18.

'Our team is so proud of this accomplishment and not just because we were selected for the NCAA Tournament,' said WSU Head Coach Lisa Hart, who is in her fifth year leading the Cougars. 'Our performance this season is a reflection of a true team effort where each individual works for one another and for the team before themselves.

This year marks the first time in Hart's tenure that the Cougars have been selected for the team championships, and the first time the Cougars have gone to the NCAA Tournament since 2002. WSU also reached the postseason in 2001, 1999 and 1998. The 2001 squad defeated Indiana, 4-0, in the opening round for the Cougars' only postseason victory.

'After narrowly missing out on NCAA Tournament selection last season, our team immediately choose to rally behind the motto, 'leave no doubt!,' said Hart. 'We felt like we needed to practice and compete with the singular quest of proving to ourselves, as well as the rest of the nation, that we deserve to be included in the NCAA Championships. Our team's selection is not only an honor but a reflection of the hard work and determination of every member of this team.'

The NCAA Tournament is comprised of 64 teams competing at 16, 1st/2nd round sites. Following the opening two rounds, held May 9-10 at various venues across the country, the 16 winners advance to Tulsa.

The Cougars are one of seven Pacific-10 Conference teams to reach the postseason, joining No. 4 Stanford, No. 7 UCLA, No. 8 California, No. 10 USC, No. 21 Arizona State and No. 38 Washington. In all, WSU faced eight opponents during the 2008 campaign that were selected for the NCAA Tournament.

'This is so exciting, I can't describe it,' said senior captain Ekaterina Burduli. 'All year the entire team had great chemistry, we worked really hard and things just came together and we deserve to be going. I can't think of a better way to end my career at WSU.'

For more information and a complete bracket of the 2008 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships, go to ncaasports.com.

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