ETSU women's tennis prepares for opening round of NCAA Championships against No. 12 Vanderbilt
Freshman Tara Byrne is part of an ETSU lineup that is talented from top to bottom.
Freshman Tara Byrne is part of an ETSU lineup that is talented from top to bottom.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 10, 2006) - The ETSU women's tennis team (23-4, 9-0 A-Sun) is set for its first ever appearance in the NCAA team tournament, where the Lady Bucs will face in-state rival and 12th-ranked Vanderbilt (21-4, 11-2 SEC) in the opening round Friday. The two teams will face each other in regional action beginning at 1 p.m. at the Currey Tennis Center in Nashville, Tenn.


The Lady Bucs, who are ranked 74th nationally for the first time since 2001, are led by Masha Ilina (Kyiv, Ukraine), who is 27-13 this season at the No. 1 singles position. Sophomores Olya Batsula (Minsk, Belarus) and Elena Volobueva (Barcelona, Spain) will also help guide the Lady Bucs at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions, respectively. Batsula has been a strong force going 26-9 in singles play and 28-9 in doubles. Senior Sandie Knight (Adamstown, Australia), who has been playing at the No. 4 position, has been putting together an outstanding season as well, setting a new school record with her 32 singles wins. Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year Tara Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) is 28-11 and will be playing at the No. 5 singles position and senior Sylwia Ziolkowska (Warsaw, Poland) is 22-8 and will play in the No. 6 position. Both Byrne and Ziolkowska could play a crucial role in the Lady Bucs plans for success Friday. In doubles, ETSU has been dominant throughout the season and looks for that trend to continue. Its three doubles tandems are a combined 59-20 (.750). 


The Lady Commodores are the No. 12 seed in the tournament, as only the top 16 teams are seeded. Vanderbilt is led by junior Amanda Fish and sophomore Taka Bertrand. Fish ended the season with a 20-5 record and is ranked No. 17 in the latest ITA poll. Bertrand finished the season 22-1 and was named the SEC Player of the Year. She is ranked 43rd nationally.


The winner of the ETSU-Vanderbilt match will advance to Saturday's second round match-up against the winner of the Georgia-Indiana match. Follow the Lady Bucs by visiting Vanderbilt's live scoring page and check for updates at the end of each days play.



Tournament Schedule
Friday, May
10 a.m.
No. 25 Georgia vs. No. 42 Indiana
1 p.m. No. 12 Vanderbilt vs. No. 74 ETSU

Saturday, May 13
12 p.m. Winner of 10 a.m. match vs. Winner of 1 p.m. match

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VB ETSU 0 Blacksburg, Va.
Aug 28 Virginia Tech 3
WSOC Tennessee Tech 0 Johnson City, Tenn.
Aug 28 ETSU 1
MSOC ETSU 1 Clemson, SC
Aug 28 Clemson University 3
VB ETSU 0 Radford, Va.
Aug 29 Washington St. 3
VB ETSU 3 Radford, Va.
Aug 29 LIU Brooklyn 1
WSOC NC State 2 Johnson City, Tenn.
Aug 30 ETSU 0
MSOC High Point University 0 Johnson City, Tenn.
Sep 1 ETSU 2
WSOC Eastern Kentucky 2 Johnson City, Tenn.
Sep 2 ETSU 4
FB Kennesaw State 56 Home
Sep 3 ETSU 16
VB ETSU 3 Troy, Ala.
Sep 4 Alabama St. 1
VB ETSU Troy, Ala.
Sep 5, 10:30 a.m. CSU Bakersfield
VB ETSU Troy, Ala.
Sep 5, 3:30 p.m. Troy
Sep 5, 6:00 p.m. Radford University
WSOC Navy Johnson City, Tenn.
Sep 6, 1:00 p.m. ETSU
Sep 9, 7:00 p.m. Appalachian State University
FB Maryville College Home
Sep 10, 7:30 p.m. ETSU
WTEN ETSU Wilmington, N.C.
Sep 11, 7:30 p.m. UNC Wilmington Invite