Berckes, Menezes Advance to National Doubles Semifinal Match

SAINT PETER, MN – Sophomore Brittany Berckes (Secaucus, NJ) and senior Alicia Menezes (Staten Island, NY) continued to represent Amherst College at the 2008 NCAA Women's Tennis Individual Championships in national quarterfinal action on Saturday at Gustavus Adolphus College. After falling in three sets in singles action, Berckes teamed up with Menezes for a victory in doubles play to advance to Sunday's semifinal round.

Berckes faced a familiar foe in Williams College's Cary Gibson, as this was the third meeting between the two NESCAC stars this season. After Gibson earned a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win on Apr. 6 in a regular season match, Berckes retaliated by picking up a 6-2, 6-4 victory on Apr. 27 in the conference championship finals.  

Saturday's national quarterfinal match mirrored the first meeting between the two, with Berckes once again taking an early lead with a 6-3 win in the first set. Gibson came back yet again, however, with a 6-4 win in the second set before advancing to the semifinals with a 6-1 third-set victory. Gibson went on to defeat Meghan McCooey of Tufts University and will take on top-seeded Siobhan Finicane Sunday at noon.

An all-conference First Team Singles selection and NESCAC Player of the Year, Berckes finishes her 2008 campaign with a 16-6 record, including an 11-2 mark over her last 13 matches.

Berckes returned to action at 3 p.m. for her doubles match, where she and Menezes earned a 6-0, 7-5 win over Natalia Fugate and Becky Morse-Karzen of the University of Mary Washington in the quarterfinals. This is the second consecutive season Morse-Karzen has had her run at a national doubles title halted by the Amherst pair, as Menezes and Berckes took a 6-3, 6-3 victory in last year's quarterfinal round.

Sunday at 2 p.m., Berckes and Menezes will take on Emory University's Tshema Nash and Sabra Rogers, who upset the tournament's top pair of Finicane and Olivia Muesse in the first round before defeating Erin Andrade and Kayla Smith of DePauw this afternoon. The doubles championship match is set for Sunday at 4 p.m.

Complete championship information, including complete brackets and links to live statistics and live video Webcasts of the singles and doubles finals, can be found at the Bates College NCAA Men's Tennis Championship Website and the Gustavus Adolphus College NCAA Women's Tennis Championship Website.

Saturday, May 17, 2008 - NCAA Singles and Doubles Quarterfinal Results
#5 Cary Gibson (Williams) def. #4 Brittany Berckes (Amherst) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
#3 Berckes/Menezes (Amherst) def. Fugate/Morse-Karzen (UMW) 6-0, 7-5




Friday, May 16
9 a.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Round of 32
12 p.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Round of 16
3 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Round of 32

Saturday, May 17 
9 a.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Quarterfinals
12 p.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Semifinals
3 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Quarterfinals

Sunday, May 18 
12 p.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Finals
2 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Semifinals
4 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Finals