Three USC Women Bound for NCAA Championships|
April 30, 2008
Already set up to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Team Championships, the No. 10 seeded USC women's tennis team has also pushed three Women of Troy into the upcoming NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, set to be held May 21-26 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. Junior Amanda Fink is the tournament's No. 6 seed in the singles action, joined by senior Lindsey Nelson and sophomore Gabriela Niculescu as at-large selections. Fink and Niculescu will also team up as a 5-8 seed for doubles play.
Fink and Nelson both have been in the NCAA Singles mix before. Fink, who leads the Trojans with a 34-9 overall singles record and is ranked No. 6 in the nation, reached the Round of 16 in 2006 as a freshman. Now a junior, Fink recently worked her way into the title match of the Pac-10 Singles Championships last week, winning four consecutive straight-set matches before finishing the tournament as the Pac-10 runner-up.
A senior, Nelson is a veteran of the NCAA Singles Championships, having reached the championship match the past two seasons. Nelson worked her way into the NCAA Round of 16 as a freshman, then powered to the final as a sophomore in 2006 and again as a junior in 2007. In 2006, Nelson fell to Cal's Susie Babos in the championship match, and in 2007 Miami's Audra Cohen captured the title over Nelson. This season, Nelson has fought through injuries but has held strong in the national rankings. She holds a 13-14 overall singles record and is currently ranked No. 57 in the nation.
For Niculescu, this will be the first NCAA appearance for the sophomore, who did not compete in her first year at USC. She boasts a 28-10 overall singles mark and was a semifinalist at the recent Pac-10 Championships. Niculescu is ranked No. 49 in the nation.
On the doubles side, USC has Pac-10 Doubles Champion Fink/Niculescu lined up as a 5-8 seed into the 2008 NCAA Doubles Championships. The Trojan pair have accumulated a 32-10 overall record after their sweep through the Pac-10 tournament last week and are ranked No. 5 in the nation.
First on the schedule for the Women of Troy is the NCAA Team Championships. USC will host the first and second rounds of the tournament at Marks Stadium on May 9 and 10, opening against Marist at 4 p.m. on May 9. The site winners will move on to the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond running May 15-20 in Tulsa, Okla. Following team competition, the NCAA Singles and Doubles tournaments begin, running May 21-26 in Tulsa.