April 18, 2012
IRVING, Texas -
Two-time defending Conference USA Women's Tennis Champion Tulsa will attempt to add its fifth trophy to the case later this week as the 2012 conference tournament gets underway on Thursday, April 19 at the Dunavant-Wellford Tennis Center in Memphis, Tenn. The four-day, 12-team event is being hosted on the campus of UofM for the first time in program history. Admission is free for all matches.
C-USA Women Tennis Championship Notebook
2012 C-USA Women's Tennis Championship Bracket
C-USA sports four teams among the latest ITA Top 65, headlined by the top seeded Golden Hurricane at No. 26. Ranking 40th and earning the No. 2 seed is Rice, followed by No. 3 seed Tulane at No. 53. Host Memphis also earned a first round bye and appears among the elite at No. 64.
For the fourth time in program history, the Golden Hurricane enters the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed, winning each of the previous three titles. Tulsa (19-3) will face the winner of the opening round match between No. 8 seed East Carolina (9-15) and No. 9 seed UAB (6-11) on Friday at 10 a.m. CDT. Tulsa only has three losses peppered throughout its schedule and each of those were to teams ranked in the ITA Top 32 at the time of the match. The team has won nine-straight matches and owns 11 top 75 victories. Leading this core group will be sophomore Samantha Vickers, who was recently named to the All-C-USA All-Academic Team, and senior Anastasia Erofeeva. Vickers is ranked No. 70 in the ITA and Erofeeva is one spot behind at No. 71. Erofeeva will take court one as Vickers mans court two for the Hurricane. Senior Ewa Szatkowska and Erofeeva pair up for an ITA ranking of No. 71 in No. 1 doubles.
The victors of No. 7 seed UCF (9-10) and No. 10 seed SMU (1-15) will face Rice (14-7) on Friday at 2 p.m. CT. The Owls opened the season winning six-straight matches and enter tournament play having won four of its last seven. Rice also won the 2006 tournament title. Freshman Natalie Beazant will hold down the No. 1 singles and doubles slots the the Owls as she appears among the Top 50 in both. In singles play she's considered the 40th best player in the country and, when teamed up with sophomore Dominique Harmath, they are the No. 33 doubles pair.
Tulane (18-5) enters championship week as the only C-USA team to win three consecutive crowns (2003, 2004, 2005) and remains tied with Tulsa with the most overall crowns with four, winning the event in 2001 as well. The Green Wave will get underway on Friday at 2 p.m. CT, facing the winner of No. 6 Houston (13-7) and No. 11 Southern Miss (3-18). Senior Mariam Kurdadze and junior Emma Levy lead the charge for the Green Wave as the top two singles players and as a pair forms Tulane's No. 1 doubles team. The team sports the second most victories in the league with 18 and carries a five-match winning streak into championship action. In league play, Tulane had defeated East Carolina, UCF, Houston, Southern Miss and UAB. Rice is the only C-USA opponent to edge the Green Wave.
Host Memphis (15-4) looks to win its first C-USA tennis title as the Tigers will face the winner of Thursday's 10 a.m. first round match between No. 5 Marshall (12-9) and No. 12 UTEP (2-17) on Friday. The team's 15 wins include three against ranked opponents - No. 65 Columbia, No. 49 Princeton and No. 67 Kansas State. All four losses were to teams ranked 26th or higher. Memphis also has three singles players and one doubles team ranked among the ITA's Top 100. Junior Courtney Collins tops the C-USA charts at No. 33 while freshman Stephanie Mikesz and sophomore Sariya Slupska follows at No. 81 and 90, respectively. Sophomore Alyssa Hibberd and redshirt-senior Tiffany Welcher team up to form the nation's No. 51 doubles duo.
Live scoring and match results for the matches will be available on the Championship Central page on Conference USA's website (conferenceusa.com).
Follow us - @ConferenceUSA1; Like Us - Conference USA; Tag Us - #CUSAChamp
C-USA WOMEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONS
2012 C-USA WOMEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
DUNAVANT-WELLFORD TENNIS CENTER / MEMPHIS, TENN.
FIRST ROUND - Thursday, April 19
Match 1: (8) East Carolina vs. (9) UAB - 10 a.m./B Courts
Match 2: (5) Marshall vs. (12) UTEP - 10 a.m./A Courts
Match 3: (7) UCF vs. (10) SMU - 2 p.m./B Courts
Match 4: (6) Houston vs. (11) Southern Miss - 2 p.m./A Courts
QUARTERFINALS - Friday, April 20
Match 5: (1) Tulsa vs. winner of Match 1 - 10 a.m./A Courts
Match 6: (4) Memphis vs. winner of Match 2 - 10 a.m./B Courts
Match 7: (2) Rice vs. winner of Match 3 - 2 p.m./A Courts
Match 8: (3) Tulane vs. winner of Match 4 - 2 p.m./B Courts
SEMIFINALS - Saturday, April 21
Match 9: winner of Match 5 vs. winner of Match 6 - 12 p.m./A-B Courts*
Match 10: winner of Match 7 vs. winner of Match 8 - 12 p.m./A-B Courts*
CHAMPIONSHIP - Sunday, April 22
Match 11: winner of Match 9 vs. winner of Match 10 - 10 a.m./A Courts
* The highest remaining seed will play on the Bank A Courts.