USC Women's Tennis Gearing Up For NCAA Regionals
 
 

May 8, 2006

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2006 NCAA WOMEN'S TENNIS REGIONALS
May 12-13 • Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center

About The Event
The 2006 NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament marks the 25-year anniversary of the event. First and second rounds, which are the NCAA Regionals, are played at 16 campus sites around the country over May 12-13. The round of 16 and beyond, referred to as the NCAA Championships, is being held at Stanford over May 18-22 at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif. The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships take place in Stanford as well over May 23-28. Both the men's and women's events will run concurrently at the Taube Tennis Center, a first in NCAA history. The singles championship consists of 64 players, while 32 teams comprise the doubles. Draws for the individual tournaments will not be determined until May 22.

Up First For South Carolina
South Carolina will play No. 21 Wake Forest in the first round of NCAA Regionals on Friday at 3 p.m. in Chapel Hill, N.C., at The Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. It marks the 18th meeting between the two schools and the second time in three years USC and WFU have met in the first round of NCAA play. The Gamecocks won the 2004 first-round match-up 4-1 in Clemson, S.C. USC leads the all-time series 9-8.

NCAA Tournament Winners
Stanford owns the most national team titles with 14 in 24 years, followed by Florida with four and Georgia, Southern California and Texas with two each. The Cardinal also lay claim to the most singles championships with 12, while Florida has four, Georgia two and Duke, San Diego, Southern California, UCLA and Wake Forest each have one. Stanford and UCLA are tied with five doubles championships apiece, and California and Florida are right behind them with four each. Arizona, Kansas, Miami (Fla.), Mississippi, Northwestern and Trinity (Texas) all have one.

NCAA Tournament Format History
The NCAA first held a championship for women's tennis in 1982 in Salt Lake City. For the first six championships, the field consisted of just 16 teams and expanded to 20 starting in 1988. From 1988 to 1995, eight of the 20 teams selected played first-round matches and the other 12 received byes. From 1996 to 1998, the NCAA changed the format to include 58 teams, with 10 receiving automatic bids to the 16-team championship. The other six spots were determined through tournaments in six regions (East, Central, Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, West) with eight schools in each. In 1999, the NCAA adopted what is still the current format of a 64-team bracket where each team must play every round. First- and second-round matches are played at 16 campus sites with four teams each, and the round of 16 and beyond is held at one institution.

Looking Back At USC's 2005 NCAA Tourney
South Carolina was sent to nearby Athens, Ga., for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament in 2005. The Gamecocks were pitted against the Nebraska Cornhuskers first, a team making its first tournament appearance in school history. USC won easily by a 4-0 score before falling by the same tally two days later to the host Bulldogs. USC's first-round victory extended its streak of opening round wins in the event to 11.

USC's NCAA Tournament History
South Carolina is making its 12th-straight appearance in NCAA play in 2006 and its 16th overall. USC is an even 15-15 in the tournament, and its 15 wins ranks tied for 16th in the nation. The Gamecocks appeared in the first two tournaments in 1982 and 1983 and reached the quarterfinals in '82, which remains the best showing in school history. The Gamecocks have reached the Sweet 16 five times, with their last appearance coming in 1999. In addition to USC making the NCAA field 12 times in a row, the school boasts 12 consecutive first-round victories.

Consistency Is The Key
South Carolina extended its streak of consecutive NCAA appearances to 12 in 2006, which stands as the 11th longest active streak in the country. A list of the active streaks is below.

T1. California - 25
T1. Stanford - 25
T1. UCLA - 25
4. Texas - 24
T5. Florida - 20
T5 Georgia - 20
T7. Arizona State - 19
T7. Pepperdine - 19
9. Duke - 17
10. Southern California - 15
T11. South Carolina - 12
T11. Vanderbilt - 12

Scouting Wake Forest
Wake Forest enters the NCAA Tournament with a 13-9 record and finished 5-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Demon Deacons have been ranked among the nation's top 25 all season and are currently No. 21. Alexandra Hirsch leads Wake Forest at the No. 1 singles spot, where she is 14-8 and 24-10 overall. Hirsch also holds a No. 44 national ranking. Ashlee Davis holds the No. 2 spot with a record of 12-7 and is 21-11 overall. WFU's two most consistent positions are three and four singles thanks to Ana Jerman (15-7 at No. 3, 23-11 overall) and Christian Tara (17-5 at No. 4, 23-9 overall). Sierra Poske, who split time at five and six singles during the season, will occupy the No. 5 hole with a record of 5-4. Christine Simpson is slotted in at six singles, where she went 4-4. The No. 1 doubles team is Hirsch-Poske, which is 1-2, and No. 2 is Davis-Jerman, which is 0-2. The No. 3 duo of Simpson-Tara has a little more experience with seven dual matches under its belt. They are 4-3 at three doubles and 5-3 overall.

The South Carolina-Wake Forest Series
South Carolina holds a slight 9-8 edge in the all-time series with Wake Forest. Friday's match is only the second time the two schools have met on neutral ground, as USC won the first match-up 4-1 in the NCAA First Round in 2004 in Clemson, S.C. The Gamecocks and Demon Deacons met one other time in NCAA play in 1999 when USC defeated WFU in the second round of regional play to advance to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in school history.

Most Tenured Of The Bunch
South Carolina head coach Arlo Elkins is in his 23rd year at the helm of USC women's tennis, which makes him the most tenured among all active coaches in the Southeastern Conference. Jeff Wallace of Georgia and Mike Patrick at Tennessee are tied for second with 21 years as head coaches, and LSU's Tony Minnis is fourth with 15 years. Kentucky's Carlos Drada is the least experienced coach among the 12 SEC schools, as 2006 is his first year as a head coach.

All-SEC Accolades
USC's two freshmen Gira Schofield and Natasa Vuckovic became the 10th and 11th Gamecocks to earn All-SEC recognition this season. Both players nabbed a spot on the Second Team and Schofield took home Co-Freshman of the Year honors with Kseniia Tokarieva of Mississippi. Schofield became the first Gamecock to earn Freshman or Player of the Year.

Freshmen Leading The Way
The Gamecocks' top two players this season have been freshmen Gira Schofield and Natasa Vuckovic, who secure No. 1 and No. 2 singles. Schofield has notched several impressive victories this season for South Carolina, including four against opponents who were ranked in the top 50 at the time of the matches. Vuckovic has knocked off two opponents who were top 100 when the matches were played. The two have teamed up at the No. 1 doubles position for much of the season as well.

We Need A Medic
Injuries have certainly hurt the Gamecocks this season. Three players had surgery last fall or in the summer and two went down with severe ankle sprains during the dual match season. Against Georgia on March 10, junior Laura Ganzer rolled her ankle charging the net for a short ball and has not played singles since. Ganzer played two doubles matches, but was unable to go at her usual spot of No. 4 singles. The week following Ganzer's injury, senior Danielle Wiggins suffered a sprained ankle during practice that kept her out of USC's final 10 matches. Wiggins was playing No. 3 singles and, like Ganzer, was a key component for the Gamecocks' efforts in doubles. Wiggins quit the team for personal reasons prior to the regular season finale against Florida.

Elkins Records Win No. 350
South Carolina's 6-1 victory over Winthrop on March 19 marked the 350th career win for head coach Arlo Elkins. Now in his 23rd season as the leader of the Gamecocks, Elkins earned his 100th victory at South Carolina with a 9-0 shutout over N.C. State on Jan. 20, 1990. Win No. 200 came March 24, 1996, in a 5-4 victory versus Vanderbilt, and USC's first victory of the 2003 season over Charleston on Jan. 29 gave Elkins his 300th triumph with the Garnet and Black.

SEC Weekly Accolades
Freshman Natasa Vuckovic was South Carolina's lone SEC Player of the Week award winner during the 2006 season. She was given the honor Feb. 7 after winning three singles matches the week prior against Furman, Michigan and Maryland.

What It Takes To Be All-America
All-America teams are awarded in tennis for singles and doubles play. No voting takes place, so the teams are decided based on the following criteria:

Singles
1. Top 16 seed in NCAA Singles Championship, or
2. Reach round of 16 in NCAA Singles Championship, or
3. Finish in the top 20 of the final ITA rankings

Doubles
1. Top eight seed in NCAA Doubles Championship, or
2. Reach quarterfinals of NCAA Doubles Championship, or
3. Finish in top 10 of final ITA rankings

Academic Prowess
South Carolina's women's tennis team consistently has one of the top team GPAs among all of USC's athletic teams. Last season, the Gamecocks had nine players make the SEC Academic Honor Roll. The team had a cumulative GPA of 3.369 for the fall and boasted a 3.469 for the spring semester. Redshirt sophomore Grace Blakely is the academic star of the team having made the SEC Honor Roll the past two years, as well as the Dean's List for fall 2003 and 2005 and spring 2004. She was named to the President's List for fall 2004 and spring 2005. Blakely's additional academic honors include: USC Honors College; McNair Scholar; Thomas Markham Scholar for Science and Math; Outstanding New Student Leader Award; Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Undergraduate Fellowship; and Carpe Diem Foundation National Scholarship Semifinalist. Blakely also scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT prior to becoming a Gamecock.

Schofield Earns NCAA Bid
A day after the NCAA announced the field of 64 for team competition, South Carolina freshman Gira Schofield received an invitation to the NCAA Singles Championship over May 23-28 at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif. She became the 13th Gamecock to earn a bid to the season-ending tournament and just the second USC freshman to garner the honor. The draw for the tournament will not be determined until one day prior to the start of competition. If the winner of the NCAA Singles Championship is a U.S. citizen, she will get a wild card into the main draw of the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 28 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

SOUTH CAROLINA'S NCAA TEAM HISTORY
The Gamecocks have appeared in NCAAs 16 times in the event's 25-year existence. USC's best showing came in the first NCAA Championship in 1982 when it reached the quarterfinals after defeating Florida. South Carolina has made a total of five Sweet 16 appearances with the last coming in 1999. USC has made the tournament field 12 consecutive times and gone to at least the second round 12 times in a row.

1982 • Salt Lake City, Utah (Championships)
Round of 16: def. Florida, 5-4
Quarterfinals: lost Southern California, 1-8

1983 • Albuquerque, N.M. (Championships)
Round of 16: lost Indiana, 2-7

1988 • Los Angeles, Calif. (Championships)
Round of 20: lost BYU, 4-5

1990 • Gainesville, Fla. (Championships)
Round of 20: def. William & Mary, 6-0
Round of 16: lost UCLA, 0-6

1995 • Malibu, Calif. (Championships)
Round of 20: def. BYU, 5-2
Round of 16: lost Georgia, 0-5

1996 • Columbia, S.C. (Regionals)
Quarterfinals: def. Florida State, 5-2
Semifinals: lost Clemson, 4-5

1997 • South Bend, Ind. (Regionals)
Quarterfinals: def. Marquette, 5-3
Semifinals: def. Indiana, 5-2
Final: lost Wisconsin, 3-5

1998 • Knoxville, Tenn. (Regionals)
Quarterfinals: def. N.C. State, 5-2
Semifinals: lost Vanderbilt, 0-5

1999 • Columbia, S.C. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Furman, 5-1
Round of 32: def. Wake Forest, 5-2
Gainesville, Fla. (Championships)
Round of 16: lost Georgia, 1-5

2000 • South Bend, Ind. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Western Michigan, 5-1
Round of 32: lost Notre Dame, 1-5

2001 • Tempe, Ariz. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Florida State, 4-1
Round of 32: lost Arizona State, 2-4

2002 • Columbia, S.C. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Hampton, 4-1
Round of 32: lost VCU, 1-4

2003 • Durham, N.C. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Pennsylvania, 4-3
Round of 32: lost Duke, 0-4

2004 • Clemson, S.C. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Wake Forest, 4-1
Round of 32: lost Clemson, 1-4

2005 • Athens, Ga. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Nebraska, 4-0
Round of 32: lost Georgia, 0-4

SOUTH CAROLINA'S NCAA INDIVIDUAL HISTORY
South Carolina has placed either a singles competitor or doubles team in 18 of 24 NCAA Individual Tennis Championships. Laura Berstein remains the only Gamecock to advance to the round of 16 in singles, doing so in 1983 in Albuquerque, N.M. In doubles, Helen Crook and Victoria Davies are the only USC duo to go as far as the semifinals, which happened in 1994 in Athens, Ga.

1982 • Salt Lake City, Utah
Laura Bernstein, singles

R64: lost Lynn Lewis, UCLA, 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-3
Dawn Otto and Ellen Oxrieder, doubles
R32: lost Heynen/Sessarego, Southern California, 6-0, 7-5

1983 • Albuquerque, N.M.
Laura Bernstein, singles

R64: def. Randi Rosen, Northwestern, 6-4, 6-0
R32: def. Leslie Sheehan, Boston, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
R16: lost (#8 seed) Heather Ludloff, UCLA, 6-2, 7-5
Ellen Oxreider, singles
R64: def. Kristeen McKeen, Texas, 6-4, 7-6(2)
R32: lost Maeve Quinlan, Northwestern, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4

1984 • Los Angeles, Calif.
Johnna Chafin, singles

R64: lost Elisa Fernandez, Pepperdine, 6-1, 6-4

1987 • Los Angeles, Calif.
Rita Winebarger, singles

R64: lost Kefi Binyamini, U.S. International, 6-2, 6-4

1988 • Los Angeles, Calif.
Paulette Roux, singles

R64: def. Tamaka Takagi, Kentucky, 6-1, 6-2
R32: lost (#9-16 seed) Susanna Lee, BYU, 6-3, 7-5
Rita Winebarger, singles
R64: lost Michelle Taylor, BYU, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

1990 • Gainesville, Fla.
Michelle Duda, singles

R64: lost (#9-16 seed) Susan Gilchrist, Texas, 6-2, 6-1
Nathalie Rodriguez, singles
R64: lost Holly Danforth, Florida, 6-1, 6-2
Michelle Duda and Nathalie Rodriguez, doubles
R32: lost Edelman/Reece, Indiana, 6-1, 6-2

1991 • Stanford, Calif.
Michelle Duda, singles

R64: def. Lynn Rosenstrach, Yale, 6-4, 6-4
R32: lost (#9-16 seed) Susan Gilchrist, Texas, 6-0, 6-4

1992 • Stanford, Calif.
Michelle Duda, singles

R64: lost Nora Koves, Kansas, 6-3, 7-6(3)
Nathalie Rodriguez, singles
R64: lost Jennifer Poulos, California, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4

1993 • Gainesville, Fla.
Helen Crook, singles

R64: lost (#9-16 seed) Kori Davidson, Arizona State, 6-1, 6-3

1994 • Athens, Ga.
Helen Crook, singles

R64: lost Mindy Weiner, Kansas, 6-3, 6-1
Heather Greene, singles
R64: lost Sandra De Silva, Stanford, 6-4, 6-1
Helen Crook and Victoria Davies, doubles
R32: def. Guenther/Milholland, William & Mary, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3
R16: def. (#5-8 seed) Davidson/Geiger, Arizona State, 6-2, 6-4
QF: def. (#4 seed) Alley/Nelson, California, 6-3, 6-3
SF: lost Bougnol/Piquemal, Mississippi, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5

1995 • Malibu, Calif.
Heather Greene, singles

R64: def. Divya Merchant, Florida, 6-4, 6-4
R32: lost (#1 seed) Kelly Pace, Texas, 6-2, 6-4

1996 • Tallahassee, Fla.
Heather Greene, singles

R64: lost (#8 seed) Melissa Zimpfer, Wisconsin, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
Karolina Bulat and Heather Greene, doubles
R32: lost (#5-8 seed) Moros/Taylor, Texas, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3

1997 • Stanford, Calif.
Karolina Bulat and Tobi Rakic, doubles

R32: lost (#1 seed) Buth/Nickitas, Florida, 6-2, 6-1

1999 • Gainesville, Fla.
Katarina Markovski, singles

R64: lost (#2 seed) Vanessa Webb, Duke, 6-1, 7-5
Katarina Markovski and Celine Regnier, doubles
R32: lost (#5-8 seed) Dasso/Hall, Notre Dame, 6-1, 6-0

2000 • Malibu, Calif.
Katarina Markovski, singles

R64: lost Chin Bee Khoo, Arkansas, 7-5, 6-1

2001 • Stone Mountain, Ga.
Kathy Boyanovich and Jennifer Radman, doubles

R32: def. Castellvi/Ojeda, Tennessee, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
R16: lost (#1 seed) Barnikow/Kalvaria, Stanford, 6-3, 6-3

2002 • Stanford, Calif.
Katarina Markovski, singles

R64: def. (#2 seed) Kelly McCain, Duke, 6-1, 5-7, 7-5
R32: lost Chloe Carlotti, Fresno State, 6-4, 6-4
Jennifer Radman, singles
R64: lost Adria Engel, Arizona State, 6-3, 6-2
Kathy Boyanovich and Jennifer Radman, doubles
R32: def. Cioroch/Grey, Georgia, 7-5, 6-3
R16: lost (#3 seed) Dawaf/Lehnhoff, Florida, 3-6, 6-0, 6-0

2004 • Athens, Ga.
Danielle Wiggins, singles

R64: lost Katie McGaffigan, Wisconsin, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
 

 


 
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