Women's tennis continues rise with historic season

 
June 13, 2014
 


 
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn women's tennis team enjoyed another year of success on the court, earning several program firsts under third-year head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner.
 
The Tigers finished the year 17-11 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, before falling on the road to Clemson, 5-0. Despite, the loss, Auburn earned a win in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight, marking the first time the Tigers had earned postseason victories in back-to-back years.
 
Individually, the program saw sophomore Pleun Burgmans and junior Emily Flickinger make an unprecedented run to the doubles semifinals of the NCAA Championships in May. The duo became the fourth and fifth players in school history to earn All-America honors, respectively. Burgmans and Flickinger joined former Tiger Fani Chifchieva as the only players in school history to advance to the Final Four at the NCAA Championships.
 
Burgmans and Flickinger were selected to the All-SEC Team for their performances during the season. Burgmans picked up her second straight selection to the All-SEC First Team, playing all of her matches at the No. 1 spot in the lineup. Flickinger picked up her first career all-conference honor after being selected to the All-SEC Second Team.

Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger's deep run to the NCAA Championships capped off the season for the Tigers on a high note. The tandem became the first Auburn doubles team to advance past the second round in doubles and into the NCAA Elite Eight to secure All-America honors. Both players finished the year with 28 doubles victories, tying for the second-most wins in single-season history.
 
In the fall, Burgmans and Flickinger also advanced to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, advancing all the way to the consolation semifinals. Jackie Kasler and Jen Pfeifler joined the Burgmans and Flickinger at the prestigious national tournament, giving Auburn four representatives, which tied for the second-most in the nation.
  Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner has continued to build a strong foundation since her arrival in 2011. In her three seasons as head coach, Meisner has record 44 victories, which ties for the most by an Auburn head coach in program history during that time span. Her 36 wins over the last two seasons are also the most by a head coach in back-to-back years.
 
Auburn senior Jackie Kasler finished her four-year career ranked among the elite in school history in both singles and doubles. The Gulf Breeze, Fla., native finished fourth in school history with 76 career doubles wins and 152 combined victories. She also secured sixth place in the Auburn record books with 74 career singles victories.
  Auburn had three doubles teams ranked in the final ITA rankings that were released at the conclusion of the season. Burgmans and Flickinger finished the year as the 10th-ranked pair in the nation, tying the highest ranking in school history in singles or doubles. Sophomore Michala Kucharova and freshman Reka Muller were 66th in the final release, posting a 15-3 overall record, including an 11-1 mark in dual matches. Jackie Kasler and Jen Pfeifler were 73rd in the final ITA doubles ranking, posting a 17-13 record in doubles. Burgmans also finished the year ranked No. 49 in singles, becoming just the second Auburn player to be ranked in the top-50 of the final ITA singles release in back-to-back seasons.
 
The Tigers finished second in the ITA Southern Region to end the year. Burgmans completed the season as region's top-ranked singles player, while Flickinger was ranked at No. 11. In doubles, Burgmans and Flickinger were No. 2 behind NCAA Doubles Champions Eric Routliffe and Maya Jansen of Alabama. Jen Pfeifler and Jackie Kasler were also ranked seventh in the final regional doubles rankings.