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Women’s Tennis To Open Play At NCAA Championships On Friday

Women’s Tennis To Open Play At NCAA Championships On Friday

May 17, 2007

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CLEMSON, SC -The 2007 Clemson women’s tennis team’s season will continue on Friday evening, as the seventh-seeded Tigers will face #10-seed California in the NCAA Championships round of 16. The teams are scheduled to meet at 6:00 pm at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.

The match-up will be the first in history between Clemson and the Golden Bears.

The Tigers are making their third appearance in the round of 16 in the last four years, having advanced to the final four in 2004 and 2005. Clemson’s road to Athens included a sweep of Coastal Carolina, 4-0, in the first round of the tournament and then a 4-1 win over Virginia in the regional finals.

Clemson currently boasts the #6 national ranking and a 22-4 overall record. The Tigers were co-champions of the ACC regular season after tallying an 10-1 mark during conference play. They have won seven matches over top-25 teams this year, which ties for second-most in program history.

Scouting the Golden Bears California, the #10 seed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, enters Friday’s round of 16 match-up with a 21-6 overall record. The Golden Bears advanced to the NCAA Championships by claiming their regional with wins over Southeastern Louisiana and Arizona State. Cal entered the Fila/ITA Tennis top-10 on Feb. 16 and has been ranked as high as #5 in the polls during the 2007 season.

Five Golden Bears players boast national singles rankings, led by junior Susie Babos’ #4 listing. Zsuzsanna Fodor and Nina Henkel are also ranked in the top 25, individually, at #12 and #22, respectively.

Cal and Clemson has faced three common opponents this year. Both teams defeated Virginia Commonwealth with the Tigers winning by a 5-2 margin and the Golden Bears claiming a 4-3 victory. Clemson defeated North Carolina, 6-1, during the regular season, while the Tar Heels edged Cal, 4-3, at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships in February. At the same tournament, the Tigers won a 4-3 decision over the Golden Bears’ Pac-10 foe UCLA. The Bruins and Cal split their two meetings this season with the Golden Bears winning 7-0 and UCLA posting the 4-3 victory.

Clemson’s NCAA Championship History Head Coach Nancy Harris’ Tigers advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the third time in the last four years after winning their regional over the May 11-12 weekend. Both previous trips to the NCAA Championships were held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA which is also playing host to this year’s tournament.

Including this season’s two victories, Clemson owns an 18-14 record in NCAA Tournament matches. As the #5-seed in 2004, the Tigers posted wins over Troy State and South Carolina in regional competition. They then defeated Texas A&M in the round of 16 and Washington in the round of eight to advance to the first final four in Clemson women’s athletic program history. The Tigers then fell to UCLA in the semifinals.

Clemson again reached the Final Four in 2005 after being seeded 12th in the tournament. That year, the Tigers won matches over Furman and William & Mary in the first and second rounds, respectively. They then upset fifth-seeded Northwestern, 4-3, in the round of 16 and won a 4-1 decision over fellow ACC member North Carolina in the final eight. Clemson then suffered a 4-2 loss to eventual-champion Stanford in the semifinals.

Since NCAA regional play started in 1996, the Tigers have made the field of 16 a total of three times, with the first being in that inaugural season. Clemson won three matches in the 1996 Southeast Regional to claim the regional title and reach the quarterfinals of the national tournament, where they fell to Stanford.