Women's Tennis Set for NCAA Quarterfinals

May 15, 2001 

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The Amherst College women's tennis team, fresh off its 7-2 win against visiting NESCAC rival Wesleyan University in Sunday's regional semifinals, earned the number-one seed in the NCAA Division III national quarterfinals and will face the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Friday morning at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Williams College, Emory University, and host Trinity picked up the other three seeds in the eight-team quarterfinal round, and the winner of the Amherst/UWEC match will face the winner of the Trinity/Washington & Lee contest in Saturday's Final Four. 

The Jeffs enter the quarterfinals as the top-ranked team in the nation according to the latest WingspanBank.com Collegiate Tennis Rankings with a 15-2 overall record. 10th year head coach Jackie Bagwell has led the Jeffs to three consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances and produced back-to-back national singles champions in senior Jamie Cohen (Rye, NY) and Neely Steinberg, who graduated in 1999. Cohen-who was named the NESCAC Player of the Year earlier this season-will vie for her second consecutive national singles championship when individual play begins on Monday. 

"This team has a lot of experience," said Bagwell, who was named the Boston Area Coach of the Year at the Boston Sports Awards last autumn. "This is Jamie (Cohen's) fourth trip to the quarterfinals and most of our players have been there at least once. I think our success will have a lot to do with having been there before." 

Amherst will see a few familiar faces in San Antonio, especially in its quarterfinal match against Wisconsin Eau-Claire, which the Jeffs edged 5-4 in their spring opener in California. Amherst also pounded defending national champion and current No. 4 seed Trinity 8-1 during its California swing and got a firsthand look at second-seeded Williams at this year's NESCAC Championship Tournament. 

Besides Cohen, sophomores Roopali Agarwal (Boxford, MA) and Susanna Burke (St. Louis, MO), juniors Heather Cole (Baltimore, MD), Stephanie Fong (Los Altos, CA) and Vass Kozoulina (New York, NY), and senior Carolyn Pastel (Old Lyme, CT) have all played well for the Jeffs and should see action at Trinity. Fong also qualified for a shot at the individual singles championship along with Cohen and is listed with Cole as an alternate in the doubles competition. 

The eight-team NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championships begin its six-day run on Friday. The team tournament will be played Friday through Sunday and the singles and doubles championships are slated for May 21-23. Opening ceremonies will be held Thursday at 4:30 p.m. on Delavan Tennis Stadium, the tournament's headquarters. 

Defending national champion Trinity (16-4) will meet Washington & Lee (Va.) (20-2), seeded in the Nos.5-8 category, Friday at 11 a.m. Central Time in the quarterfinals. The doubles of each of the four dual matches will begin at Varsity Tennis Stadium and the singles will be played at Delavan. On subsequent days, matches will be played at Delavan. 

Last year, Trinity, led by head coach Butch Newman, beat Washington & Lee 6-3 in the semifinals. The Tigers are making their ninth straight appearance in the NCAAs. Trinity stands at 15-9 in NCAA postseason play, including a national championship (2000), runner-up finish (1997), three third-place finishes (1993, 1994, and 1999) and two fourth-places (1995 and 1996). Washington & Lee is also in its ninth NCAA tournament. The Generals are 13-9 with a runner-up finish (1996), two third-place finishes and one fourth-place finish. The winner of the Trinity-Washington & Lee match plays Saturday at 9 a.m. in the semifinals. 

Amherst takes on Nos.5-8 seed Wisconsin-Eau Claire Bluegolds (14-5) in the opening match Friday at 9 a.m. The Jeffs were semifinalists last year and lost 5-4 to Washington & Lee in the third-place match. Amherst has a tournament record of 12-7, including a national title (1999), and two fourth-place finishes. The Bluegolds are competing in their second tournament, with an 0-1 record. 

In the bottom half of the draw, the third-seeded Emory (Ga.) Eagles (16-3) take on Nos.5-8 seed Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.) College (19-5) Friday at 1 p.m. The Eagles, quarterfinalists in 2000, are competing in their 17th NCAA event with a record of 12-16. Emory won the championship in 1996 and has one third-place and one fourth-place finish. Gustavus Adolphus, last year's NCAA host, is in its 13th years. The Gusties, last year's quarterfinalists, are 20-14 with a national championship (1990), two runner-up finishes (1991 and 1993), one third-place finish and three fourth-place finishes. 

The Emory and Gustavus-Adolphus winner meets the Williams and Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) College winner Saturday at 1 p.m. The second-seeded Ephs (16-1), who Trinity beat in last year's quarterfinals, are making their eighth NCAA appearance with a 10-7 mark. The Ephs were runners-up on two occasions (1994 and 1999). The Pomona-Pitzer Hens (14-5) are in their 11th tournament with a 9-9 record. Pomona-Pitzer won the championship in 1992 and finished third twice. 

4:30-5 p.m. - Opening ceremony, Delavan Tennis Stadium 

FRIDAY, MAY 18 (seeds in parenthesis) 
9 a.m. - Amherst (1) vs. Wisconsin-Eau Claire (5-8) 
11 a.m. - Trinity (4) vs. Washington and Lee (5-8) 
1 p.m. - Emory (3) vs. Gustavus-Adolphus (5-8) 
3 p.m. - Williams (2) vs. Pomona-Pitzer (5-8) 

9 a.m. - Amherst/Wisconsin-Eau Claire winner vs. Trinity/Washington and Lee winner 
1 p.m. - Emory/Gustavus-Adolphus winner vs. Williams/Pomona-Pitzer winner 

9 a.m. - Third Place 
1 p.m. - Championship 

9 and 10:30 a.m. - First-round singles 
Noon and 1:30 p.m. - Second-round singles 
3:30 p.m. - First-round doubles 

9 a.m. - Singles quarterfinals 
Noon - Singles semifinals 
3 p.m. - Doubles quarterfinals 

9 a.m. - Singles final 
Noon - Doubles semifinals (may be scheduled earlier, if player is not in singles) 
3 p.m. - Doubles final 

Ellen Anderson, Gustavus Adolphus 
Kathryn Baker, Rhodes 
Elena Blanina, Methodist 
Jamie Cohen, Amherst 
Molly Cope, Wisconsin-Eau Claire 
Jennifer Crombie, College of New Jersey 
Rebecca Dutton, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 
Stephanie Fong, Amherst 
Lauren Gerlach, Denison 
Annette Geuder, Wisconsin-La Crosse 
Diana Goldman, Trinity (Connecticut) 
Mary Ellen Gordon, Emory 
Marnie Greenblatt, Greensboro 
Melissa Hatley, Washington and Lee 
Haley Heathman, DePauw 
Sarah Jesse, Oberlin 
Selma Kikic, Williams 
Julia Lebedeva, Beloit 
Mariana Madico, Whittier 
Kathy North, Sewanee (University of the South) 
Jenny Pekulik, Wisconsin-Oshkosh 
Erika Proko, Washington and Lee 
Anjni Reddy, Swarthmore 
Blair Rubenstein, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 
Gabriella Ruiz, Rochester Institute of Technology 
Lea Schon, Mary Washington 
Sheree Schwartz, Pomona-Pitzer 
Lindsay Smith, Trinity (Texas) 
Joanna Toke, Rochester 
Amy Wachenheim, Skidmore 
Caroline Wasserman, Williams 
Lizzie Yasser, Trinity (Texas) 

INDIVIDUAL ALTERNATES: (Alphabetical by name) 
Julia Jacobs, Emory 
Betsy Mork, Pomona-Pitzer 
Jenny Stein, Washington (Missouri) 

DOUBLES QUALIFIERS: (Alphabetical by school) 
Julia Lebedeva/Tanya Kopylova, Beloit 
Blair Rubenstein/Rashida Marshall, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 
Jennifer Crombie/Monika Jakober, College of New Jersey 
Lauren Gerlach/Ali Hughes, Denison 
Mary Ellen Gordon/Anusha Natarajan, Emory 
Brooke Hagen/Elsa Schmidt, Luther 
Ashley Knapp/Lea Schon, Mary Washington 
Elena Blanina/Carla Simpson, Methodist 
Whitney Henderson/Kelly Howard, Pomona-Pitzer 
Sheree Schwartz/Meghan Gould, Pomona-Pitzer 
Amy Wachenheim/Heather Wood, Skidmore 
Molly Cannon/Kathy North, Sewanee (University of the South) 
Lizzie Yasser/Abbe Ulrich, Trinity (Texas) 
Erika Proko/Melissa Hatley, Washington and Lee 
Tracy Cheung/Selma Kikic, Williams 
Caroline Wasserman/Stephanie Hall, Williams 

DOUBLES ALTERNATES: (Alphabetical by school) 
Stephanie Fong/Heather Cole, Amherst 
Molly Cope/Andrea Muellner, Wisconsin-Eau Claire 
Annette Geuder/Brea Lenart, Wisconsin-La Crosse