Cal's Kops-Jones, Stanford's Liu Advance to NCAA Quarterfinals

May 27, 2004

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Top-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones of California advanced to the quarterfinals without lifting her racket Wednesday at the Women's NCAA Tennis Championships, but she will not get to the semifinals without a fight.

Awaiting her is Miami's Megan Bradley, the tournament's sixth seed, who defeated childhood rival Jennifer Magley of Florida in a hard-fought 6-2, 7-5 win.

Kops-Jones advanced after Brigham Young's Barbara Zahnova withdrew with an injury.

For Bradley, it was a renewal of an old rivalry. She and Magley grew up in the Midwest where they often met in junior tournaments.

'I have been playing her since I was 8 or 9 years old,' said Bradley. 'But we have both changed our styles since the juniors. I had not played her in several years. We were never friends. We were always playing each other in the finals.'

For the first time since the tournament started, seeded players lost. Second-seeded Anda Perianu of Oklahoma, fifth-seeded Alexis Gordon of Florida and seventh-seeded Amanda Johnson all were eliminated.

Clemson's Julie Coin beat Perianu 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4). Kentucky's Aibika Kalsarieva beat Johnson 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Vanderbilt's Audra Falk ousted Gordon 7-5, 6-2.

Gordon and Falk had played twice earlier this year, with Gordon winning the first. The second match was suspended 2-2 in the third set after Florida won the team match.

'I knew her game and could better prepare myself,' Falk said. 'I felt like I had nothing to lose. I just decided to go out and do the best I could.'

The losses by Gordon and Magley erased Florida from the tournament. The Gators ended the season ranked second and seeded first for the tournament but failed to get to Athens for the round of 16 team tournament.

'It was tough for them to get ready,' said coach Roland Thornqvist. 'They took it hard.'

Third-seeded Jelena Pandzic of Fresno State improved to 27-1 on the year with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Stanford's Alice Barnes, who admitted that she was mentally spent from the team tournament that Stanford won Sunday.

Stanford's Amber Liu, the fourth seed, dispatched of Sacramento State's Margarita Kamauhhova 6-3, 6-0.

Eighth-seeded Cristelle Grier of Northwestern beat Arizona's Dianne Hollands for the second time this year, 6-2, 6-4. Grier is the only remaining player in singles and doubles. She and partner Jessica Rush beat Clemson's Coin and Maria Brito, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The Northwestern team as the fifth seed is the highest seeded doubles team remaining in the field.

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