No. 21 Women's Tennis Head to Fresno for NCAA First & Second Rounds
May 7, 2008
The 21st-ranked Arizona State Women's Tennis Team (14-7, 5-4 Pac-10) will hit the road again this weekend to open the 2008 NCAA Tournament where they'll head to Fresno, Calif. to take on Sacramento State this Friday. Should the Sun Devils top the Hornets, they'd advance to the Second Round where they'll face the winner of Lamar and 16th-ranked Fresno State on Saturday.
Last time out saw the Sun Devils come out strong in the 2008 Pac-10 Tournament where after Day One they advancedfive singles players to the quarterfinals and four singles and a doubles team to the semifinals. While the Sun Devils struggled in semifinals (in two matches through the tournament, Sun Devils faced each other facing elimination) senior Wendy Pilecka was able to battle to the finals of the Invitational Bracket, where she fell in the final day to the fourth-seeded Alex McGoodwin of UCLA.
Stacking Up the Competition:
No. 53 Sacramento State Hornets:
The Hornets will roll into this weekend's tournament as the 2008 Big Sky Champions and making their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance. They currently hold a 21-6 overall record on the year, with their last outing resulting in a defeat Northern Arizona, 4-0, in last Sunday's Big Sky Tournament championship match. The Hornets have won 10 of their last 12 matches with the only two losses coming at No. 3 Stanford and then-No. 6 Cal. Sacramento State is 2-7 against ranked opposition this year (the ITA ranks the top 75 teams) with every match but one coming on the road.
The marquee name on the roster is the 34th-ranked Katrina Zheltova a sophomore from Minsk, Belarus with a stellar 22-8 singles record.
No. 16 Fresno State Bulldogs:
The Fresno State Bulldogs care coming off winning their seventh-straight WAC Championship as they enter into this weekend's tournament with a 20-7 record overall, good enough for a 16th ranking in the nation and the opportunity to host the First and Second Rounds for the second straight year. They have advanced to the Sweet 16 three of the past four seasons.
The Bulldogs come in to this weekend with a solid 1-6 line-up that will yield no easy wins. Their leader in singles is Melanie Gloria, the defending three-time WAC Player of the Year, who is currently ranked 16th in singles. She pairs up with Tinesta Rowe as well on the doubles circut as the second-ranked doubles duo in the nation. They have another force in doubles as well as Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova are ranked No. 33 making for double trouble. While the Bulldogs have a solid line-up, history bodes well for the Sun Devils are they are 2-0 over the Bulldogs, beating them in 4-3 in 2007 and 4-2 in 2003.
Lamar Lady Cards:
Lamar will make itsfirst trip in the programs' 32-year history to the NCAA tournament after putting together a season record of 22-2. The Lady Cards winning percentage of 91.6 percent is the best in school history.