For the first time in program history, the Alabama women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Championship Round of 16 after collecting a pair of 4-0 wins in the tournament’s first two rounds against Northwestern State and Memphis. Entering the final site, the Crimson Tide holds a record of 21-5, marking the first 20-win season under head coach Jenny Mainz, who is in her 16th at Alabama. The Tide will also be represented in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships as both Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane were selected to compete as individuals in the singles draw and together in the field of 32 in doubles. Alabama, the No. 9 seed, is slated to take on eighth-seeded Cal on Friday, May 17, at 9 a.m. CT at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. Singles and doubles play will begin on May 22.
The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team finished the regular season at 13-15, 4-9 SEC, and did not receive a bid to the NCAA team tournament. Freshman Yang Pang had a breakout season for the Razorbacks, playing at No. 1 singles. Pang was selected for the NCAA Individual singles completion, beginning on May 22 in Urbana, Ill. The Razorback team is ranked No. 51 in the ITA, and has three players ranked as well. Yang Pang is No. 47 in singles, while senior Claudine Paulson is No. 71. The duo of Paulson and freshman Segou Jonker are ranked No. 56 in doubles. The Razorbacks also had two players named to the SEC All Conference teams. Yang Pang was named to the First Team All-SEC, as well as the All-Freshman team. Claudine Paulson, who led the team with a 20-5 singles record playing at No. 2 singles, was named to the Second Team All-SEC. The Razorbacks had seven freshman getting their first collegiate tennis experience in the spring, with three of them (Yang Pang, Brittany Huxley, and Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez) finishing with double digit singles victories. Overall, the freshman class combined for 56 of the 85 singles victories on the spring season (65 percent). The Razorbacks also won 13 doubles points on the year. The duo of Brittany Huxley and Yang Pang finished with the team’s best doubles record at 10-9, while the ranked pair of Paulson and Jonker was 8-11 while playing at No. 1 doubles.
Auburn women’s tennis closed out one of the most successful seasons in program history with a 4-0 loss to No. 8 California on Saturday in the NCAA Second Round. Included was the program’s first NCAA win since 2008, a 4-2 defeat of St. Mary’s College. The berth in the NCAA tournament was the first for Auburn since 2009. The Tigers finished with 19 wins, the most since 1989 and the third-most wins in program history. Jackie Kasler (5th, 52 wins), Emily Flickinger (8th, 49 wins) and Pleun Burgmans (9th, 48 wins) each finished the 2013 season in the top 10 in program history for single season combined victories. Kasler’s 24 singles wins in 2013 is the 12th-most in school history. The junior’s 28 doubles wins during the season is second most all-time behind Melissa Koning in 2008 with 29. Both Burgmans and Flickinger recorded 26 doubles wins, the fourth-highest total in program history. Kasler’s 55 career doubles wins ranks 10th all-time
Florida advanced to NCAA Round of 16 and plays No. 15 Duke (16-9) on Friday, May 17 at 10 a.m.ET in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. The Gators defeated Marist and Georgia Tech, 4-0 in the first two rounds to advance. Sunday’s victory over Georgia Tech was the 300th win for Head Coach Roland Thornqvist, who is 300-33 in 12 years with the Gators.
The Georgia women’s tennis team advanced to its 13th round of 16 since the tournament moved to its current format in 1999, beating Winthrop and Arizona State in the first and second rounds last weekend, improving to 24-0 all-time in first and second round matches played in Athens. Georgia (23-3) beat both Winthrop and Arizona State 4-0, and led on every court when each of the matches was suspended. Freshman Ayaka Okuno clinched both matches. Georgia readies for a familiar round of 16 opponent in Clemson. The Bulldogs hold a 25-19 all-time advantage against the Tigers, including a 5-2 road win earlier this season. Georgia is making its 27th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, which ranks fifth in a tie with Florida. Stanford, UCLA and California have the longest active streak. Georgia is 66-24 in the NCAA Championships, including 10 trips to the National Semifinals with national titles in 1994 and 2000.
The Kentucky women’s tennis team finished the season 13-12 and 4-9 in Southeastern Conference matches. The Wildcats opened the year 9-2, knocking off two ranked opponents. Freshman Nadia Ravita led the Wildcats from the No. 1 singles slot, finishing the season 20-4, 10-3 in conference matches. Ranked 24th nationally, Ravita received a singles at-large bid for the 2013 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Tennis Championships and was named Second Team All-SEC and All-Freshman. Senior Jessica Stiles won 10 matches in the No. 2 singles slot for Kentucky, including three in SEC contests. Sophomore Stephanie Fox posted a 14-7 singles record in the spring, winning six matches in conference play. In doubles play, Ravita and junior Caitlin McGraw posted a 9-9 record on court one.
In Julia S. Sell’s first year as LSU’s head coach, the Lady Tigers compiled nine overall wins and advanced to the second round of the SEC Tournament with a 4-2 win over Kentucky. Freshman Ella Taylor led the team in singles victories with 21 on the season, including a 6-3, 6-1 win over Ole Miss’ then-No. 66 Mai El Kamash. Senior Kaitlin Burns claimed the court one spot for the majority of the season and tallied a 6-3, 6-2 triumph against the Rebels’ previously 37th-ranked Caroline Rohde-Moe after notching a 6-0, 6-1 win over Mizzou’s then-No. 114 Cierra Gaytan-Leach in the Lady Tigers’ first conference win of the season. LSU will welcome the No. 16 recruiting class in the upcoming season, the highest-ranked class in team history.
Ole Miss dropped its NCAA first round match to No. 15 ranked Duke 4-1 to end the season at 16-14. The Rebels were making their 16th overall and fifth consecutive NCAA appearance. The season is not quite over for junior Caroline Rohde-Moe who will compete in the NCAA Singles Championships next week.
Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis completed the 2013 campaign with an overall record of 9-14, 2-11 in conference play, and the No. 74 slot in the final ITA rankings. This marked MSU’s first national ranking since April of 2012. Lady Bulldog tennis took down top 60-ranked SEC opponent Missouri in a 4-2 decision to finish out the regular season, and then defeated Mizzou’s Lady Tigers once again in the opening round of SEC Championship play. Following the first-round win,12th-seeded Mississippi State fell 4-0 in the second round to the tournament’s No. 5 seed, the No. 29 ranked Lady Vols of Tennessee, 4-0. Lady Bulldog tennis also acquired multiple individual accolades. True freshman Georgiana Patrasc was honored as a member of the All-SEC Second Team as well as a 116th spot in the singles rankings. In doubles competition, MSU’s Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran paired up to take the No. 69th position in ITA doubles rankings.
The Mizzou tennis team concluded the regular season with 9-12 overall and a 2-11 record in Southeastern Conference matches. Senior Maria Christensen finished the regular season with a team best 5-5 record in SEC matches, as she was 1-0 at No. 4 and 4-5 at No. 3 singles.
South Carolina's top doubles team of Dominika Kanakova and Jaklin Alawi also earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Doubles Championship, which begins May 23 in Urbana, Ill. The No. 29-ranked duo will be one of 32 teams competing in the event. Alawi, a second-team All-SEC member this season, and her partner compiled a 23-10 record this season and were 6-3 at No. 1 doubles in SEC play. South Carolina has placed a singles competitor or doubles team in 25 of 32 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.
The Lady Vols finished out the 2012-13 season with a Second Round loss to No. 2 North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament Saturday. Tennessee advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 19th straight season and 23rd overall and reached the Second Round of the tournament for the seventh straight season. Tennessee downed VCU to begin the NCAA Tournament with a 4-0 sweep Friday morning ending the Rams' 13 match win-streak. Despite winning the doubles point on Saturday against North Carolina, marking Kata Szekely’s 100th career doubles victory, UT fell 4-1 on Saturday ending their season with a 13-12 record.
Texas A&M is advancing to the NCAA Championship round of 16 for the second time in school history after defeating Southern, 4-0, and TCU, 4-1, last weekend in College Station. The Aggies, seeded a record-high No. 3 in the 64-team tournament, take on No. 14 seed Virginia Friday, May 17 at 4 p.m. at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Urbana, Ill. A&M, whose 2004 trip to the Sweet 16 also began with a victory against the Jaguars, has defeated the Cavaliers twice this season: 4-1 at the National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va., on Feb. 10, and 5-2 in College Station on March 13. The winner advances to the quarterfinals to take on the winner between No. 6 seed Miami and No. 11 seed Northwestern on Sunday. A win against Virginia would not only send Texas A&M to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history, but it also will give the Aggies a 24-3 record, matching the 2004 team for the most wins in school history. Senior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, A&M’s first two-time All-American in women’s tennis after receiving a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship 64-player field, boasts a .854 (76-13) career winning percentage and will obliterate the school record of .765 held by Morgan Frank (2008-11). Senior Nazari Urbina, who will be making a school-record fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Singles Championship, heads to Illinois with 98 career singles victories, ranking fourth in the A&M records. The 18th-ranked duo of Cristina Stancu and Stefania Hristov will compete in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championship as an at-large selection. The doubles team of freshmen twins Ines and Paula Deheza is riding a seven-match win streak and is 15-5 at the No. 3 line.
Vanderbilt’s season came to an end Saturday afternoon in the second round of the Women’s Tennis NCAA Tournament with a 4-2 loss to the No. 13 overall seed Clemson Tigers at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center in Clemson, S.C. The Commodores finished the season with an overall record of 16-12. The Commodores opened the match by winning the all-important doubles point. At No. 2, Ashleigh Antal and Marie Casares defeated Tristen Dewar and Romy Koelzer, 8-6. Frances Altick and Georgina Sellyn then wrapped up doubles with a win at No. 3 over Liz Jeukeng and Ani Miao, 8-5. After a long weather delay, Casares recorded the only win in singles play at the No. 4 position. The sophomore defeated Koelzer in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0. Vanderbilt will be represented in the Women’s Tennis NCAA Doubles Championship in Urbana, Ill., May 22-27. Courtney Colton and Lauren Mira are one of 32 doubles teams to make the tournament.