April 29, 2009
CLEMSON, SC – A trio of Clemson women’s tennis players earned bids to the NCAA Individual Championships, as announced on Wednesday evening. Ani Mijacika is the fourth-seeded player while Josipa Bek received a 9-16 seeding to give the Tigers two players in the national singles tournament for the second straight year. Mijacika will team with rookie Keri Wong in doubles action to extend Clemson’s streak of sending a doubles team to the NCAA event to seven straight. The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will be held from May 20-25 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.
Mijacika, a junior from Makarska, Croatia, will be making her third appearance in the NCAA Tournament. After falling in the first round as a freshman in 2007, she advanced to the round of 16 last year. This also marks the second consecutive season that Mijacika has earned a top-eight seed for the tournament as she was the number-two seeded player in 2008. She owns a 28-8 overall record with a 16-5 ledger in dual matches. Mijacika has spent six weeks as the nation’s top player in the Campbell/ITA Tennis rankings and has been listed in the top five in every poll this spring.
Freshman Bek received a 9-16 seed for her NCAA Singles Championships debut. The NCAA seeds players one-through-eight individually, but the next eight players in the 64-player field are listed as a group. Bek already has a tournament crown in her collection as the native of Osijek, Croatia won the Wilson/ITA Southeast Regional in October. With her 30 wins this season, compared to eight losses, she became just the fourth different player in Clemson history over the last 13 years to reach the mark. Bek has been ranked among the top 15 singles players all season long as the Tigers have been the only team in the nation to boast two players ranked that highly.
Mijacika and Wong were listed ninth in the most recent doubles poll to just miss a national seed in the doubles tournament, but the Clemson tandem has posted a 12-4 record in the spring season. They have eight wins over ranked opponents and upset a pair of top-10 teams in February. Their selection also marks the third straight NCAA appearance for Mijacika in doubles. She partnered with Federica van Adrichem in 2007 for an historic run as the duo became the first Clemson team to reach the semifinals of the tournament. Mijacika and former Tiger Carol Salge advanced to the quarterfinals last season before falling in a three-set battle.
The Tigers have a chance to send two teams to the NCAA Doubles Championships, which selects 32 teams, for just the second time in history and the first since 1986. Bek and Ina Hadziselimovic are the top alternate with the #34 ranking. They have compiled a 13-6 record playing primarily at the second position.
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