Women's Tennis to Face ECU at C-USA Championships Thursday
April 19, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis women's tennis team (3-15) will face East Carolina (18-8) in the first round of the Conference USA Championships, Thursday, at 2 p.m. The first round match will be a rematch of a regular season contest between the two foes, where ECU prevailed 6-1. That loss started a nine-match Lady Tiger losing streak that Memphis will carry into Thursday's match.
ECU comes into the first-round match having won three of their last four matches and having set a new school record for dual season victories with its 18th win of the spring last Saturday. In that last ECU match, the top two Lady Pirates were the same as the first meeting with Memphis. Anca Dumitru has played at the top of the singles line-up, carrying a 6-15 mark, while Gillie Bailey is playing No. 2, where she is 10-7 on the season. But Memphis has lately switched the top two singles players, with Brooke Cowie winning two of her last four matches at No. 1 singles, where she is 3-4 on the year. Cowie also teamed with Alex Tjioe to give the Lady Tigers' their first win of the year at No. 1 doubles, winning 8-4 in the SLU match. Senior Andrea Feichtinger will be looking to wrap her career on a high note, and is looking for her 58th career singles victory. While playing at No. 2 in the last four matches, Feichtinger is 1-3, but she is 3-3 on the year from the No. 2 spot.
Unlike the first meeting, ECU sophomore Mireia Gol is now playing No. 3 singles, where she is 12-2 on the season. Memphis typically counters with senior Kristin Noble at No. 3, but Noble missed the last two matches of the regular season with the flu, but will hopefully be healthy enough to look for her 42nd career singles win in the ECU match.
Freshman Ekin Zafir will be playing in her first conference tournament for the Lady Tigers, and hopes to snap a drought. With not as much depth, and with Zafir getting moved up in the lineup late in the season with injuries to Cowie and illnesses to Noble, the freshman has lost 17 straight matches after winning her collegiate opening dual match against Chattanooga back in January.
The Lady Tigers have had some solid play throughout the season from the junior class playing No. 5 and 6 singles. Alex Tjioe is 6-12 on the season, but is 5-6 at No. 6, while Christina Wieser is 6-7 at No. 6. Wieser is also 6-12 on the season and has played throughout all four bottom spots of the singles line-up this year.
Unlike past league championships, there is no consolation draw, so all first round losers will tie for ninth in the final league standings. The first match of the day will feature No. 8 seed UCF against No. 9 UTEP at 10 a.m. The second bank of matches will feature No. 7 Rice against No. 10 Southern Miss and No. 6 ECU against No. 11 Memphis. The winner of the ECU/Memphis match will advance to face No. 3 seed Houston, at 2 p.m., Friday. Host SMU is also the top seed of the tournament, and will face the winner of the UCF/UTEP match.
The tournament will be played on the courts at the Garland Tennis Center on campus. Tickets are $5.00 per day for adults and $3.00 for youth 18 and under. The winner of the tournament will receive the league's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.