Ekaterina Burduli Prepares for NCAA Individual Singles Championship

May 23, 2006

STANFORD, Calif. - Washington State tennis sophomore Ekaterina Burduli is set for her first round NCAA Individual Singles Championpionship match. She competes against Northwestern's Cristelle Grier, Wednesday, May 24 at 3 p.m. at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif.

Burduli enters Wednesday match with a record of 3-12 against the original field of 64 competitors. She defeated Maryland's Ramona But, South Alabama's Adrianna Solarova and Oregon's Dominka Dieskova, during the 2005-06 season. Solarova was the automatic qualifier from the Sun Belt Conference, but has withdrawn from competition.

Burduli has compiled a 2-1 record against Big 10 student-athletes in two seasons of competition at WSU. Last year, Burduli defeated Iowa's Meg Racette and defeated Ohio State's Caitlin O'Keefe during her 2005-06 campaign. She fell to fellow singles championship competitor Alexis Prousis of Northwestern at the All-American Invitational this year. Burduli is a two-time Pacific-10 Conference Honorable Mention, nationally-ranked 62nd and has cumulated a 25-14 record this season. Last year, Burduli was an alternate for the NCAA Individual Singles Championship.

Grier qualified for the singles championship after winning the Big 10 tournament, which gave her an automatic bid. She is among the top 16 seeds in the tournament. Grier compiled a 3-0 record during the team championship to help Northwestern into the quarterfinals. Grier is nationally-ranked 13th.

Former WSU student-athlete Erica Perkins is the only other Cougar to compete in the NCAA Individual Singles Championship. In 1999, she fell to Fresno State's Dora Djilianova the No. 4 seed, 6-1, 6-1. During her 2001 experience, she lost to Joanne Masongsong of Texas, 7-6, 6-4. Also at the 2001 championships, Stacy McKenna and Ana Maria Moura of WSU teamed up for the doubles championship, but were defeated by second seeded Laura Granville and Gabriela Lastra of Stanford. In 2002, Perkins was ousted by Tulsa's Alicia Pillay, 6-3, 6-2 in her final appearance at the singles championship. That same year Perkins teamed with McKenna to compete in the doubles championship, but lost to eventual national champion Lauren Kalvaria and Lastra of Stanford.

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