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Lady Tigers Open Play in ACC Tournament

April 17, 2000

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson will meet Virginia in the first round of the ACC Women’s Tennis Tournament on Friday, April 21 at 9:00 AM. The tournament will take place at the Racquet Club of the South in Norcross, GA April 20-23. If Clemson gains victory in the first round, it will meet the winner of the Duke vs. Maryland match on Saturday at 11:00 AM. The championship match is slated for 12:00 Noon on Sunday, April 23.

This will be the second meeting between Clemson and Virginia this year. The Lady Tigers came away with a 5-4 victory on Sunday, April 2 in a match played at Clemson. Clemson got singles wins from Renato Brito, Laurence Jayet and Anna Savitskaya in singles play to key the victory. The Lady Tigers also won two of the three doubles points.

Heading into the ACC tournament, Clemson has a 20-3 lifetime record against Virginia. The mark includes a 10-1 ledger at home, 7-1 at Virginia and 3-1 on neutral site.

Clemson 14-5 Entering Tournament Play Clemson has a 14-5 overall record and 6-2 mark in ACC play entering the ACC Tournament. Clemson enters the event on a four-match winning streak, all against ACC competition. Clemson’s four-match winning streak is second best among ACC teams entering the tournament. Wake Forest has won 16 straight matches overall.

During Clemson’s streak, the Lady Tigers have beaten Maryland and Georgia Tech by 6-3 scores, and Virginia and 19th ranked Florida State by 5-4 scores. That win over Florida State is the highest ranked win by the Lady Tigers this year.

Clemson has just five losses all year and four of those are to teams who were ranked in the top 17 in the nation at the time of the loss. Clemson has lost to a fifth-ranked Georgia team, a 17th-ranked South Carolina team, a second-ranked Wake Forest team and an 11th ranked Duke team. South Florida also defeated Clemson this year.

Clemson opened the year with a 6-1 record, with the only loss coming to #5 Georgia. The Lady Tigers defeated Miami (FL), Virginia Tech and Pennsylvania during that 6-1 start. Clemson lost three of five matches between March 13 and March 24, then finished strong with four straight wins.

Clemson’s Most Improved Team Since 1983 Clemson might be considered the most improved team in the ACC this year. Nancy Harris’s Lady Tigers have gone from a final mark of 6-15 a year ago to a 14-5 record heading into the ACC Tournament. This increase of eight wins over the previous year is Clemson’s top one-season improvement since 1983 when Clemson went from 18-13 in 1982 to a 30-5 mark in 1983. That 30-5 season remains Clemson’s top victory total in history.

The Clemson record for victory improvement from one season to another is +14. Clemson improved from 9-6 in 1976 to a 23-2 mark in 1977. This year’s record is already the fourth best one season improvement in Clemson history. The 1983 team showed that 12-victory improvement, and the 1980 team had an 11-win improvement over 1979.

Clemson’s 14-5 record computes to a .737 winning percentage. That is Clemson’s best overall winning percentage since the 1993 season when Andy Johnston’s Lady Tigers were 20-6, a .769 percentage.

Clemson has also improved in terms of league play this year, transposing the win-loss totals. The Lady Tigers were 2-6 in ACC play in 1999, but 6-2 in 2000. Clemson’s only league losses were to national top five teams Wake Forest and Duke. Clemson’s six ACC wins are the most by the Clemson program since 1994 when Clemson finished second in the league standings with a 6-2 mark.

Giraldo Leads Lady Tigers Clemson’s top player and one of the top players in the South is Carmina Giraldo. The sophomore from Pereira, Columbia has a 27-6 overall record this year, including an incredible 17-2 record in dual matches. She has improved her record from 12-8 last year when she also played number-one. Her personal improvement parallel’s Clemson’s team improvement in 2000.

Giraldo’s winning percentage of .818 is the best by a number-one player at Clemson since 1987 when Ingelise Driehuis had a 42-9 mark, good enough for a .823 percentage. Giraldo already has the most wins by a Clemson player since 1994 when Boba Tzvetkova had a 31-11 record.

Some of her top victories this year have come against a #8 ranked Esther Knox of Georgia, #14 Katarina Markovski of South Carolina and Kathy Sell of Duke. Giraldo has won 16 of her last 18 matches since February 11. In those 16 wins she has been taken to a third set just three times. She is 6-0 this year on an opponent’s home court.

Top Four Players Have Winning Dual Meet Records While Carmina Giraldo has been outstanding at #1 singles this year, there are three other Lady Tigers with an overall winning record in singles play. Number-two singles player Catherine Galvin is 19-17 overall in singles play and is 10-8 in dual matches. The only senior on the Clemson roster also has a fine 16-7 record as a doubles player this year.

Number-three player Laurence Jayet has 22 wins overall against 13 losses. That is the second highest singles victory total on the team and her 17-8 mark in doubles play leads the Lady Tigers in total doubles wins. Jayet enters the ACC Tournament having won five of her last six, and 10 of her last 14 singles matches.

Renato Brito is Clemson’s number-four player. She has a 12-7 overall mark, including 11-6 in dual matches. She also has an outstanding 11-5 record in doubles play, including 10-4 in dual matches.

Clemson’s ACC Tournament History Clemson has won the ACC Women’s Tennis Tournament six times in its history, second only to Duke’s 12 titles. North Carolina has won the title four times and these are the only teams to win the event in its 22-year history. Former Clemson Head Coach Andy Johnston won the tournament five times and he is still the all-time leader in ACC championships in women’s tennis.

Clemson last won the event in 1987 and that is the last time someone other than Duke captured the title. Since then Clemson has been the runnerup three times, 1990, 1991 and 1993. Clemson also finished second in 1977, 1979, and 1980, meaning Clemson has six championships and six runnerup finishes in the 22-year history of the tournament.

The ACC Tournament was a flight formatted event from 1977 to 1985. In 1986 it became a dual match event, similar to the way the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments are run. Since the dual match format was used, Clemson has a 16-13 record, third in winning percentage to Duke’s 40-2 record and Wake Forest’s 21-16 mark.

Clemson will meet Virginia in the first round. Clemson is 2-1 against Virginia in ACC tournament play. The Lady Tigers are also 2-3 against Duke, 1-1 vs. Florida State, 2-0 against Georgia Tech, 1-0 versus Maryland, 4-2 against North Carolina, 2-2 against NC State and 2-4 against Wake Forest.