Jewel Peterson Becomes First USC Player To Reach National Finals Since 1986

Nov. 9, 2002

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas - USC women's tennis senior Jewel Peterson earned a semifinal victory in Saturday's women's singles semifinals at the Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the second of three national championships for collegiate tennis this season.

Peterson, the No. 4 seed, beat Florida's Alexis Gordon 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in today's semifinals. She is the first African-American to reach a national women's singles final since Northwestern's Katrina Adams in 1986 (at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships), and only the second since the NCAA recognized women's tennis as a championship sport in 1982. She is also the first USC women's player to reach the final at this tournament since 1986 when Caroline Kuhlman beat teammate Heliane Stedan in the final.

Peterson, a senior from College Park, Ga., will face Georgia's third-seeded Agata Cioroch in tomorrow's noon CT final.

Peterson is 10-1 this season and has registered four top-100 wins en route to tomorrow's final.

The Trojans' fourth-year letterwinner qualified for the event by winning her third-straight Omni Hotels West Region Championship in October. She also won the doubles regional championship with partner Tiffany Brymer, but only accepted the singles invitation to the national tournament.

The Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the nation's premier collegiate indoor tennis tournaments for Division I men and women, are presented by The Dallas Morning News and hosted by SMU at the Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch.

The Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships feature a 32-player singles field and 16-team doubles field for men and women, including: qualifiers from Omni Hotels Regional Championships held across the country during October, the Omni Hotels National Small College champions, the winners of the Icy Hot/ITA Men's and Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships and at-large and wild card selections made by the ITA National Tournament Committee. Overall, more than 10,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the Omni Hotels Regional and National Intercollegiate Championships.

2002 Omni Hotels National Indoor Championship

First Round - Nov. 7
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Chloe Carlotti (Fresno State) - 6-3, 6-4

Second Round - Nov. 8
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Mira Radu (Ole Miss) - 6-0, 6-2

Quarterfinal - Nov. 8
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Julie Smekodub (Tulane) - 7-6 (5), 6-4

Semifinal - Nov. 9
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Alexis Gordon (Florida) - 4-6, 6-2, 6-2

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