NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt women's tennis players Catherine Newman and Jackie Wu will play two of the nation's top tennis players on Wednesday when they open the 2010 NCAA Singles Championship in Athens, Ga.
Wu and Newman didn't receive the friendliest of draws as both of them will meet national title contenders in the first round.
Newman, ranked 23rd nationally, will face the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament in Irina Falconi (Georgia Tech) while Wu will play No. 2 Jana Juricova of California.
Wu, ranked 32nd nationally is making her second straight NCAA singles appearance after posting an overall record of 23-6. The Holmdel, N.J. native won 10 of her 13 matches during the dual season and went 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference. In conference play Wu was 2-0 at the No. 3 position and 3-1 at the No. 2 spot. The sophomore defeated four ranked opponents during the course of the year, including a straight set win over then-No. 6 Caitlin Whoriskey of Tennessee at the ITA Kick-Off weekend in January.
Newman was selected to her third NCAA singles championship after registering an excellent season on the court and in the classroom where she earned first-team All-SEC and SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year honors. The Greensboro, N.C., native carries a 27-14 overall record in singles including a 15-8 mark in dual play. Newman is one of only a few players in Vanderbilt school history to have at least 100 career wins in singles and to have earned All-SEC honors all four years. Newman won a team-best 13 matches against ranked opponents this year. Newman is making her third NCAA singles appearance in four years while Wu is making her second in as many years.
More on Wu's opponent (Irina Falconi) Falconi has been ranked No. 1 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles poll all spring and carries a 37-2 overall record in singles. The Georgia Tech sophomore has won 20-straight matches while finishing the dual season 26-1, including 10-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. She was named the ACC Player of the Year and the 2010 ACC Tournament MVP.
More on Newman's opponent (Jana Juricova) Juricova leads the Bears with a 39-6 overall singles record while playing at the top spot in the line up for the Cal Bears. Juricova was the 2009 ITA National Indoor Singles champion.
The NCAA singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 26-31 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.