Women's Tennis Travels West for ITA's All-American Championships
Sept. 27, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Lady Tiger tennis program will be represented by four individuals at the ITA All-American Championships from Sept. 29-Oct. 7 in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Seniors Tiffany Welcher and Kelly Gray, sophomore Alyssa Hibberd and freshman Caroline Wegner will all compete Saturday in the prequalifying draw on the campus of UCLA. Gray and Wegner will begin doubles play in the 32-team prequalifying draw as they go up against Air Force's Melissa Cecil and Hannah Dake at 8:30 a.m.
"For Kelly, I would like to see her take advantage of playing in this tournament the last time, being her senior year," said head coach Lee Taylor Walker. "She came away last year with a solid win and a good learning experience. I want to see her lead Caroline confidently through the prequalifying in doubles. She has been our most consistent doubles player the last three years and she belongs here for sure."
Ranked No. 115 in ITA's preseason rankings, Welcher will face Missouri's Rachel Stuhlmann in a 1:00 p.m. prequalifying match. In Stuhlmann's sophomore season, she compiled a 16-7 record and ranked as high as No. 77 nationally. Hibberd will also compete in the prequalifying singles draw as she goes up against Utah's Elena Najera, who is in her first year playing for the Utes after transferring from the University of Denver. Najera struggled with injuries last season to post only seven wins, but ranked No. 15 in the Mountain Region.
Those that advance from the prequalifying draw will then move on to compete in the qualifying draw, which takes place Oct. 2-3. The main draw, which Hibberd and Welcher will play doubles in, will begin on Oct. 4. Both the qualifying and main draws will be held at the Riviera Country Club.
"For Tiffany and Alyssa, I want to see them play fearless and going for it with no regrets," Walker said. "They are four matches away from a national championship and they earned this opportunity by their play together last year. We have tried to give them some specific attention each day in practice as we want them to take advantage of this great opportunity. Taking in the surroundings the first few days out in Los Angeles will be important and bring about some good nerves and excitement."