March 25, 2010
AUBURN - The No. 50 Auburn women's tennis team (6-4, 2-0 SEC) is set to host SEC East opponents Kentucky at the City of Auburn/Yarbrough Tennis Center at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The Tigers will follow up with a Sunday road trip Nashville to take on No. 29 Vanderbilt at noon.
Auburn is coming off a successful Spring Break trip to Orlando, where the team played singles and doubles matches against No. 56 Oklahoma State and No. 30 Indiana over three days of action. Fani Chifchieva won the competition for the Tigers, using a unique scoring system devised the coaches. Chifchieva, along with senior Jil Hastenrath and Myrthe Molenveld went undefeated in singles matches, while Hastenrath and Chifchieva were undefeated in doubles action.
As a team, the Tigers are 33-20 in singles this season and 18-9 in doubles. The freshman tandem of Paulina Schippers and Plamena Kurteva lead Auburn with an 8-1 doubles mark, while senior Fani Chifchieva, fresh off defeating Georgia's No. 6 Chelsey Gullickson on March 7, is 7-2 on the season. The win over Gullickson was Chifchieva's second win over Gullickson of her career, as she defeated the Bulldog star last season, 6-3, 6-1.
Kentucky sits at the bottom of the SEC East, with an 0-4 conference mark and is 2-12 overall, having defeated Alabama on Jan. 30 and Eastern Kentucky this Tuesday in its only victories of the season. The team is led by junior Megan Broderick, who ranks 123rd in the latest ITA singles rankings. On Tuesday, the Wildcats snapped the losing streak after defeating Eastern Kentucky 5-2, but followed with a 4-3 setback to East Tennessee State in the night match.
In the all-time series, Auburn trails the Wildcats 20-7, and had never defeated Kentucky under head coach Tim Gray until Auburn defeated the Wildcats 5-2 last season in Lexington.
No. 29 Vanderbilt will take on Alabama prior to facing the Tigers on Sunday, and is in fourth place in a crowded SEC Eastern division. The Commodores hold a record of 2-2 in SEC play, and are 7-6 overall. Heading into the weekend, Vanderbilt has dropped three-consecutive matches to Georgia (2-5), Notre Dame (3-4) and Georgia Tech (3-4), all of whom are ranked in the top 15 nationally.
Sophomore Jackie Wu is Vandy's top singles player as she is ranked 24th, while senior Catherine Newman is 38th and senior Chelsea Preeg is 76th. In doubles action, Preeg and Wu combine for the 27th doubles tandem in the country, and sophomores Erica Robertson and Heather Steinbauer are ranked 30th.Vandy leads the all-time series by a 21-6 margin.
Live Stats will be available via AuburnTigers.com for each match.
For additional information, contact: Scott Kemps (334) 844-9900.