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SDSU Women's Tennis Hosts Harvard Before Opening Mountain West Conference Play in Utah

The Aztecs will host Harvard before heading to Utah for two Mountain West Conference matches.
The Aztecs will host Harvard before heading to Utah for two Mountain West Conference matches.

March 24, 2008


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The San Diego State women's tennis team (6-7 overall; 0-0 MWC) will conclude a three-match homestand, Tuesday, March 25, when it hosts Harvard in a 2 p.m. (PDT) showdown at Aztec Tennis Center. The Scarlet and Black will then proceed to open Mountain West Conference play in Provo, Utah, with a neutral-site clash against No. 63 Utah, Friday, March 28, at 11 a.m. (PDT), followed by a 9 a.m. (PDT) match-up against host and 37th-ranked Brigham Young (March 29).

The Aztecs are coming off an 11-day hiatus and were last in action on Thursday, March 13, when then No. 30 Wake Forest made its way to The Mesa. San Diego State came out on the short end of a 5-2 score, dropping just its second home match of the season. The Demon Deacons jumped out to an early 3-0 lead by sweeping SDSU in pairs action to claim the doubles point before winning the first two singles matches. Junior Holly Bagshaw kept the Aztecs' hopes alive with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Alex Hirsch at the No. 1 position, but the Deacs went on to clinch the victory as senior Sisse Nielsen fell in straight sets at No. 5. Junior Esther Cadua was the last one off the courts, tacking on an extra point for SDSU with a 6-3, 2-6, 3-2 ret., triumph over Christian Tart on court four.

Harvard (0-9) is looking for its first victory of the season and embarks on a three-match road trip to California, beginning in "America's Finest City." The Crimson suffered its latest defeat at the hands of then No. 60 Marshall (March 14). Harvard is led by Beier Ko, who was ranked 78th in the latest singles poll released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on March 18. Ko is 4-4 in dual-match play and has won two of her last three matches, including a straight-set triumph over Georgia Rose of top-ranked Northwestern. Traci Green, who was a member of the 1998 University of Florida national championship team, is in her first year at the helm of the Harvard women's tennis team.

San Diego State trails in its short series with Harvard by a 2-1 count. All three meetings have been played in San Diego and they have all been decided by just one point. Two years ago, the Crimson prevailed, 4-3, to claim the series lead, while the two teams also met in 1996 and 1997, splitting a pair of 5-4 decisions.

Utah (4-3 overall; 0-0 MWC) is coming off a tough 4-3 loss to then No. 33 South Carolina (March 15). Elizabeth Ferris and Emily Kwok started the match in impressive fashion, upsetting the 19th-ranked Gamecock duo of Gira Schofield and Ana Zubori at the top of the ladder. The Utes were unable to clinch the doubles point, however, falling at the No. 2 and 3 positions. That point proved to be the deciding factor in the match as the two teams saw a split in singles play. Individually, No. 43 Ferris is the Utes' top singles player. Along with Kwok, Ferris also owns a No. 41 ranking in doubles. Mat Iandolo is in his first year as head coach at Utah.

Brigham Young (8-8 overall; 0-0 MWC) had a four-match winning streak snapped last weekend, falling to seventh-ranked California, 7-0, before dropping a 6-1 decision to No. 16 Fresno State. The Cougars are led by their one-two punch of No. 86 Anastasia Surkova and No. 80 Kristina Doerr, who have each recorded nine wins in dual-match play. Both players are also ranked in doubles as Surkova has teamed with Jenny Miccoli to acheive a No. 35 ranking, while Doerr and Dolly Chang are 60th in the nation. Craig Manning is in his ninth season at the helm of the BYU women's tennis program.

San Diego State leads in its series with Utah by a 17-1 count, but trails with BYU, 18-21. Last year the Aztecs defeated the Utes, 6-1, and upset the 27th-ranked Cougars, 4-3, in San Diego.

Senior Eliska Krausova is tied for ninth on the all-time singles charts with 63 career victories. The Prague, Czech Republic, native is just two wins away from tying three-time All-American and Aztec Hall of Famer Nicole Storto, who currently sits at No. 8 with 65 triumphs. Krausova has posted at least 15 victories in each of her three years at SDSU and had a team-high 21 wins in 2006-07.

Senior Sisse Nielsen is three wins away from cracking San Diego State's all-time top 10 with 59 career individual doubles victories. The Alleroed, Denmark, native sits just behind Katalina Romero and current SDSU assistant coach Lindsey Gamp, who each have 62 triumphs to their credit. Along with former Aztec Dita Hauerlandova, Nielsen is also tied for sixth in the single-season record books, as the duo recorded 19 wins in 2005-06.

Peter Mattera enters his 27th year at San Diego State and 15th as head coach of the Scarlet and Black. In 14 seasons, the Aztecs' mentor has guided SDSU to 10 postseason appearances, compiling a record of 217-146 (.598) in the process. Equally impressive is the fact that 12 of his 14 squads have finished with an overall record of .500 or better.

Since the opening of the Aztec Tennis Center in 2005, SDSU has won 68 percent of its home matches, posting a 30-14 record. All 14 defeats have come at the hands of teams ranked in the top 60.

San Diego State will continue Mountain West Conference action, April 4-6, with three matches in Las Vegas, Nev. The Scarlet and Black will open the weekend on Friday against New Mexico before taking on TCU the following day. The Aztecs will then conclude the rigorous series with a showdown against host UNLV. All matches are set for a 10 a.m. (PDT) start time.