April 18, 2007
With the regular season complete, the 30th ranked Auburn women's tennis team will begin postseason play as the eighth-seed in the Southeastern Conference Championships on Thursday against No. 51 and ninth-seeded Arkansas at 12 p.m. CT in Lexington, Ky.
The SEC Tournament will be held at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Complex and hosted by the University of Kentucky. Auburn (12-8, 5-6 SEC) defeated Arkansas (10-10, 4-7 SEC), 5-2, April 6 at home in the only meeting between the two schools this season. The Tigers won just their second SEC West title, earning a share of it with LSU. The last time Auburn won the West was 2002.
"We are very excited about starting postseason play," head coach Tim Gray said. "You need to be playing your best tennis late in the season, and this team is doing that."
On April 17, redshirt freshman Fani Chifchieva and sophomore Alex Haney earned All-SEC honors. Chifchieva was named All-SEC First Team after finishing the regular season 15-5 overall and 8-3 in the SEC, while playing the No. 1 singles spot in each match. The Plovdiv, Bulgaria native is 5-5 versus nationally ranked opponents and is currently 22nd nationally.
Sophomore Alex Haney, who was named to the second team, has been a rock for the Tigers so far this season with an 18-2 record overall, including an 10-1 mark in the SEC. Her only losses have come from opponents whose teams were each ranked third in the country at the time (Georgia Tech and Florida). She won 10 straight matches leading into the match against Florida, and has now won four in-a-row heading into the SEC Tournament.
Chifchieva and Haney are the first Auburn women's tennis players to be named all-conference since 2002 when Petra Bercik and Carolina Ramirez made it as a doubles team.
Arkansas is ranked 51st and is coming off a 4-3 win over No. 29 LSU on Saturday, which helped give the Tigers a share of the SEC West title. The Lady`Backs have won two straight since losing to Auburn on April 6. Auburn is 15-11 all-time against Arkansas.
The winner of the match will face top seeded Georgia on Friday at 12 p.m.