May 7, 2008
NCAA Regional Notes
CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson women’s tennis team will begin its quest for a national championship as the 2008 NCAA Tournament kicks off this weekend. The Tigers will play host to a regional at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center for the fifth straight year and bring a 15-9 record into the 2008 event. Clemson, the 13th overall seed, will face Winthrop (13-11) at 2:00 pm on Friday, May 9 in an opening-round match-up. Michigan (18-5) and Furman (19-5) will battle at 11:00 am on Friday in the other first round contest. The winners of Friday’s matches will play Saturday at 11:00 am.
Tickets for the event will be available for purchase onsite at 10:00 am and cost $5 for adults and $3 for youth and college students with appropriate identification. The parking lot on Heisman Street adjacent to the Fike Recreation Center will be reserved for the 2008 NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional Championships.
Fans may also follow the action for all three matches with live updates on www.clemsontigers.com. Click on the women’s tennis homepage to access the link for the NCAA Clemson Regional and more information.
The Tigers are riding a 10-match winning streak that carried them to the program’s eighth conference championship in April. Clemson defeated three top-15 teams during the run in the tournament while knocking off the top two seeds.
Sophomore Ani Mijacika leads the Tigers as the nation’s #2 singles player. She boasts a 27-6 overall record with 16 wins over ranked opponents. Mijacika has also partnered with senior Carol Salge to comprise the team’s top doubles tandem. The duo is currently ranked fourth in the Fila/ITA Tennis poll and has won its last 10 matches. Of the pair’s 14 wins during the dual season, seven have been against opponents ranked in the top 25.
Clemson’s NCAA Regional History Under the current regional format, which began in the 1999 season, the Tigers have compiled a 9-4 regional record and advanced to the round of 16 in 2004, 2005 and 2007. The Clemson women’s tennis program has now played host to five straight NCAA regionals. The Tigers own a 7-1 record in regional matches held on their home court and have advanced to the round of 16 out of their own regional three times.
Last season, Clemson defeated Coastal Carolina, 4-0, in its opening match and then won, 4-1, over Virginia in the second round.
The Field Along with the host Tigers, Furman, Michigan and Winthrop make up the four- team field at the NCAA Clemson Regional. Michigan and Furman will battle in first-round action while Clemson will take on Winthrop.
The Eagles earned an automatic bid by winning the Big South Tournament, their eighth conference title in the last 10 years. They are sitting at 13-11 for the year. Clemson and Winthrop have just three times in history with the Tigers claiming the victory in each contest. However, the two teams have not faced off since 1979.
Michigan, ranked 19th in the Fila/ITA Tennis poll, finished the year with an overall 18-5 mark. The Wolverines fell to top-ranked Northwestern, 4-0, in the finals of the Big Ten Tournament. A second-round match-up between Michigan and Clemson would be just the third all-time and the first since 1982. The Tigers won both prior contests.
Furman (19-5) was awarded its bid in the NCAA Tournament by winning the Southern Conference Tournament for the fifth consecutive season and 16th overall. The Paladins suffered one of their five losses to the Tigers earlier this year, as Clemson won a 6-1 decision in Greenville, SC on Jan. 29. The Tigers lead the series score by a wide 38-3 margin.
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