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Clemson Women’s Tennis To Begin NCAA Tournament Play On Friday

Clemson Women’s Tennis To Begin NCAA Tournament Play On Friday

May 6, 2009

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CLEMSON, SC – The 12th-seeded Clemson women’s tennis team will kick off NCAA Tournament play on Friday afternoon as the Tigers will take on Winthrop in first-round action. Clemson was awarded an NCAA regional for the sixth straight year and will play host to the North Carolina-Georgia State match-up at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center as well. The Tigers and Eagles will play at 2:00 pm while the Tar Heels and Panthers will face off at 11:00 am. The winners from Friday’s contests will match-up in the second round at 1:00 pm on Saturday.

Tickets for the event will be on sale on site one hour prior to the first match of the day. Adults tickets will cost $5 while youths and senior citizens will pay $3. The winner of the Clemson regional will advance to the NCAA Championships, which are scheduled to begin on May 15 in College Station, TX on the campus of Texas A&M University.

Clemson boasts a 17-7 record for the 2009 season and is making its eighth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will also be playing in their 10th overall national tournament under Head Coach Nancy Harris. In 2008, Clemson defeated Winthrop by a 4-0 margin in the opening round before posting a 4-1 win over Michigan in the second round. The Tigers then fell to Stanford in the round of 16.

Junior Ani Mijacika leads the Clemson squad with the number-four national ranking. The native of Makarska, Croatia has compiled a 28-8 record for the 2008-09 seasons with six wins over players currently ranked in the top 10. She also plays at the top doubles position with partner Ina Hadziselimovic. Scouting the Field The Winthrop Eagles will be making their second straight trip to Clemson for NCAA Tournament play. The Eagles successfully defended their Big South Championship for the automatic bid and will bring a 14-8 record into Tigertown. The first-round match will be just the fourth meeting in history between the two schools, who hadn’t met since 1979 before last year’s contest. The Tigers have won all four prior match-ups.

North Carolina boasts the #20 Campbell/ITA Tennis ranking and an 18-10 overall record for the year. A second-round meeting between the Tar Heels and Tigers would be the third this season. Clemson won the regular season match-up by a 5-2 margin in Chapel Hill, NC while North Carolina avenged the loss with a 4-2 upset in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Apr. 17. The Tar Heels’ number-one player Sanaz Marand is ranked 21st in the latest ITA Tennis singles poll and is ranked fourth nationally in doubles with Sophie Grabinski.

Georgia State earned an automatic bid after winning the CAA Championship. The Panthers enter NCAA play with a 10-4 record and the #46 national ranking. A meeting between Clemson and Georgia State would be just the sixth in history and the first since the 2002 season. The Tigers defeated the Pantheres in all five previous match-ups. Clemson’s NCAA Regional History Under the current regional format, which began in the 1999 season, the Tigers have compiled an 11-4 regional record and advanced to the round of 16 in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008. The Clemson women’s tennis program has now played host to six straight NCAA regionals.

The Tigers own a 9-1 record in regional matches held on their home court and have advanced to the round of 16 out of their own regional four times. Last season, Clemson defeated Winthrop, 4-0, in its opening match and then won, 4-1, over Michigan in the second round.