April 20, 2010
AUBURN- Coming off a 4-3 setback to rival Alabama on April 17, the 10th-seeded Auburn women's tennis team (9-10, 3-8 SEC) will travel to the University of Georgia to the 2010 SEC Women's Tennis Tournament to take on the seventh-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks (16-8, 6-5) in the opening round of the tournament. The match is slated for Thursday, April 24 at 1 p.m. CT from McWhorter Courts at Dan Magill Tennis Center.
Arkansas (16-8, 6-5 SEC) is coming off a 5-2 victory over LSU on Saturday, and defeated the Tigers 6-1 in Fayetteville on April 2. Auburn senior Myrthe Molenveld was the lone Tiger on the match to pick up a victory, as she defeated Emily Carbone by a 6-3, 3-6, (5) tally to dodge the shutout for the Tigers.
The Tigers are led by three-time All-American and three-time First-Team All-SEC honoree Fani Chifchieva, who holds a singles record of 13-5 overall, and is 7-4 in SEC play. She has also paired with fellow senior Jil Hastenrath to go 12-5 in doubles action.
Although the Tigers dropped its most recent matchup, head coach Tim Gray remains optimistic about his teams chances in the tournament.
"I'm very proud of the great effort we've been putting forth. We didn't stop fighting and that's all I ask of them. Hopefully we can make some noise in the SEC Tournament and advance to regionals once again," Gray said.
The winner of the opening round matchup will take on second-seeded Ole Miss in the second round matchup at 1 p.m. on Henry Field Courts. The Tigers nearly knocked off the Rebels on April 9, but were defeated 4-3 in Auburn. The match was highlighted by a pair of victories, as Chifchieva, then No. 54 in the country, knocked off No. 57 Kristi Boxx 6-2, 6-2 in singles action, while the doubles tandem of Myrthe Molenveld and Paulina Schippers defeated the 13th-ranked doubles team of Boxx and Karen Njissen, 8-5.
Under Gray, Auburn has advanced to the second round of the tournament twice, in 2007 and 2008. Last season, the Tigers were defeated by Alabama 4-0 in the opening round of the tournament.
Play begins at 9 a.m. CT on Thursday, as No. 8 LSU takes on No. 9 Alabama on McWhorter Courts, while No. 12 Kentucky takes on No. 5 South Carolina on Henry Field Courts.
Tickets can be purchased online through the University of Georgia ticket office, or at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex during the tournament. Questions can be directed to the ticket office at 877-542-1231. Daily tickets are $5 for adults, and $3 for students.