Dores head west for NCAAs
May 10, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt women's tennis team embarks on its 18th straight NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 11, when it faces San Diego. The Commodores are the two-seed at USC and the match against the third-seeded Toreros is set for 1:00 p.m. CT in Los Angeles.
Jackie Wu and Lauren Mira, who rank No. 37 and 89 in the nation, respectively, lead Head Coach Geoff Macdonald's squad into the tournament. Wu and Mira also make the No. 26 doubles pairing in the country. As a team, Vanderbilt is ranked 26th.
Wu has posted a 15-9 record in dual matches this year, playing each match at number one singles. She went 5-6 during SEC play and has won her last three matches.
Mira went 15-6 on the spring, exclusively at number two singles. She was an impressive 8-3 in league play and has also won three straight, as well as six of her last 10. Perhaps most impressively, Mira is 3-2 against nationally ranked opponents.
San Diego will enter the tournament ranked 79th and coming off a West Coast Conference Tournament Championship. Anna Depenau is the Toreros' top singles player at No. 112 in the latest ITA rankings. She is 15-6 on the spring, going 8-0 at number three singles and 7-6 at number four.
Juliette Coupez has posted a 10-4 mark at number one singles, and a 15-6 dual match record. Coupez has also gone 3-6 against opponents in the ITA singles rankings.
Macdonald knows his squad is up for a tough test against San Diego.
"The regionals are getting more and more intense," Macdonald said. "Going out to Southern Cal is great, but it's going to be a really tough region. San Diego upset Pepperdine (in the WCC final) and it looked like they just out-fought Pepperdine."
The Commodores will take a team approach into the tournament, which has served them well in the past.
"The goal is for all six players (at singles) to show up and compete at all nine positions," Macdonald said. "It seems like an individual sport, but it's really a team sport and if everyone is out there competing with energy, we'll be fine."
Vanderbilt has proven it can go on the road and still advance to the Round of 16. Just a season ago, Vanderbilt was the two-seed at Tennessee and defeated Winthrop and Tennessee to advance to the NCAA Championships.
"We try to build a team that can go pretty far in the tournament," Macdonald said. "We played (sixth-ranked) Georgia within sights of winning it, so the goal is just to compete and see what happens."
All-time, Vanderbilt is 35-17 in NCAA Tournament play and has advanced to the Round of 16 on 13 occasions. The deepest run in the tournament came in 2001, when Vanderbilt was the national runner-up.
The winner of the Vanderbilt-San Diego match will face the winner of a match between fifth-seeded host USC and Fairfield. The second round match will be Saturday, May 12, at 5:00 p.m. CT.
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