First-Year Tennis Player Excelling in First Collegiate Action

Oct. 26, 2003

STANFORD, Calif. - Sasha Podkolzina has been the No. 1 rated player in her age group as long as she can remember. Now, in college, she is not limited to an age group and has been thrown into the fire with some of the most decorated tennis players in the country. But have no fear, Podkolzina is enduring the fire like a fine medal.

That medal may be gold after tomorrow's action, as Podkolzina has the opportunity to bring home first prize in singles and doubles competition at the ITA Northwest Regional Championship.

Podkolzina had a busy second and third day of competition, competing in six matches in two days. In singles competition Podkolzina defeated Alice Barnes in the round of 32, 6-2, 6-2, then she ran into Roberta Fessenko, who took the first game from her 3-6, but then fell to Podkolzina, 7-5, 6-1, in the final two sets. In the quarterfinals Podkolzina faced soon-to-be Bay Area rival Lauren Barnihkow of Stanford, defeating her in straight sets 6-3, 6-1. In the semifinals she continued her dominance by downing Anne Yelsey, 6-0, 6-2, to set up a Pac-10 final against Daria Panova of Oregon.

Cal's budding star also has a big day in doubles competition as she pairs up with Raquel Kops-Jones to put the final touches on what she hopes to be a magical day.

In other action, Jessica Shu fell in the round of 32 to Margarita Kamaukhova 6-2, 7-5. Catherine Lynch also stumbled in the round of 32 to Theresa Logar of Stanford, 6-2, 6-0. Jody Scheldt had a little better fate making it to the round of 16 before falling to Claire Carter, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6.

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