Final ITA Regional Tennis Rankings Include Three Cougars
June 3, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University seniors Ekaterina Burduli and Aleksandra Stefanova, along with freshman Ekaterina Kamendova finished their 2008 seasons ranked in the top 30 of the Northwest Region, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association recently announced. As a team the Cougars finished their 2007 campaign fourth in the region and 43rd nationally.
The No. 4 regional ranking is the highest achieved by a Cougar team in the program's history, tying with the 1999 team, which shared a No. 4 region ranking with Washington. Nationally, WSU's No. 43 finish is its highest since a program-best No. 29 at the conclusion of the 2001-02 campaign.
'This is a great way to end our year,' said WSU Head coach Lisa Hart. 'Both the regional and national rankings, along with making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years, validate all of our accomplishments this season.'
Burduli, a Tel Aviv, Israel native, garnered a No. 10 regional ranking after she finished this past season with a 28-11 record. Burduli, the nation's 57th-ranked player, became just the second Cougar to reach the NCAA Singles tournament this past season, joining WSU-great Erica Perkins as both players have been selected twice during their careers. Burduli fell to South Carolina's Gira Schofield, ranked No. 40 in the nation, in the first round.
The loss culminate one of the most storied tennis careers in school history as earlier this season she moved past Perkins into the top spot on WSU's all-time victories list and exits WSU with 91 for her career. Her 28 wins this season are the most in a single-season by any Cougar player and she is also the only player to record three consecutive 20-plus win seasons.
Stefanova, a native of Skopje, Macedonia, posted a 19-16 record this past season, the highest win total during her four-year Cougar career. She played matches at the top three singles spots, though mainly at No. 2 singles, where she posted an 11-10 record. Her victory over Stanford's Lindsey Burdette, who finished the year ranked No. 65 nationally, was the first by a Cougar in a dual match against Stanford since 1998 season.
Kamendova, a native of Moscow, Russia, captured a No. 28 regional ranking following her freshman campaign. This past season she posted a 21-16 record, which included winning six of her final seven matches. She posted the most wins by a cougar freshman since Chris Martinez posted 22 victories during the 2001-02 season.
In addition to the two singles rankings, Burduli and Kamendova captured a No. 10 doubles ranking in the final regional poll. The duo posted a 19-13 record, including a 13-10 mark in dual-match play at the No. 1 position. The duo's biggest win came against Arizona State's Laila and Nadia Abdala, which finished the year 32nd nationally.
The Cougars ended their 2008 season with a 16-10 overall record, while making their first NCAA tournament appearance since the 2002 season.
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