May 9, 2007
The No. 31 Auburn women's tennis team will begin its quest for the NCAA Championship on Saturday against No. 39 N.C. State at 12 p.m. CT at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
"We are very excited to be heading to Georgia," head coach Tim Gray said. "I think the players are focused and ready for the challenge at hand."
The Wolfpack will be the 18th ranked opponent that the Tigers have faced this season. Auburn holds an 8-9 record against those opponents thus far, including a win on March 23 against then No. 1 Georgia.
This is the sixth NCAA Tournament slection for the Tigers. The last time Auburn was selected to postseason play was 2002, when the Tigers opened with a 4-3 win over Indiana before falling to host Vanderbilt, 4-0, in Nashville.
Redshirt freshman Fani Chifchieva, an All-SEC first team selection, has led the way at the top of the singles lineup, garnering a 16-6 record and a national ranking of 16. The Plovdiv, Bulgaria native has faced some of the nation's best this season, going 6-6 against nationally ranked opponents.
Sophomore Alex Haney, who was named to the All-SEC second team, has been a rock for the Tigers so far this season with an 18-3 record overall, including an 10-2 mark in the SEC (including the SEC Tournament). Her only losses have come from opponents whose teams were each ranked in the top four in the country at the time (Georgia Tech, Florida and Georgia). In addition, the Grayson, Ga., native has also been stellar on the doubles side, compiling a 14-6 record and a national ranking of 13 with her partner Melissa Koning.
N.C. State enters with a 13-10 overall record and a ranking of 39th nationally. The Wolfpack have lost four of its last five matches, including a 4-2 loss to Virginia in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. The doubles tandem of Alejandra Guerra and Daria Petrovic are ranked No. 24 nationally by the ITA and have had an outstanding season as the Wolfpack's No. 1 duo. The tandem is 16-6 overall on the season, all at No. 1 doubles, and is an impressive 8-3 in ACC play (9-3 including the the ACC Tournament).
Also assigned to the Athens regional were host and second-ranked Georgia (21-1) and South Carolina State (21-5), which will compete in the other first round matchup at 9 a.m. The winners will face off on Sunday at 12 p.m. for the right to advance to the round of 16.