May 8, 2012
Oklahoma State’s women’s tennis team will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to compete in the first and second round of the NCAA Tennis Championship, hosted by the University of Alabama at the Alabama Tennis Complex. The No. 37 Cowgirls (11-9, 5-4) will face Georgia Tech (14-11) in the first round. The winner of that match will face the winner of the other match in the Tuscaloosa region, as Alabama takes on Army.
The Tuscaloosa Bracket
The 24th-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are making their 13th consecutive NCAA appearance, as well as their 13th overall appearance. The Yellow Jackets (14-11 overall, 6-5 ACC) made it to the semifinals of their conference championship but lost, 4-3, to North Carolina. The Cowgirls faced the Yellow Jackets when they opened fall competition at the Georgia Tech Invitational. The Yellowjackets swept the Cowgirls in singles and doubles play. Friday will be the first time the schools face each other in a dual match. The Yellow Jackets are led by No. 14 Jillian O’Neill, who is also ranked No. 16 in doubles with partner Alex Anghelescu.
Host No. 8 Alabama is making its 11th NCAA appearance and ninth under coach Jenny Mainz. Led by No. 19 Mary Anne Macfarlane, Bama is 17-4 overall after a loss to Georgia in the semifinals of the SEC Championship. With a 4-1 win over the Cowgirls early in the spring at the Blue-Gray Classic, the Crimson Tide leads the Cowgirls 2-1 in the all-time series.
Army earned its 12th trip to the NCAA tourney after winning the Patriot League Championship with a 4-1 upset over Navy. The Black Knights head into the tournament with a 22-6 overall record. Army and OSU have never faced each other in dual play.
Last Time Out
The Cowgirls stomached a 4-1 loss to No. 13 Texas in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championships in College Station, Texas. Freshman Meghan Blevins’ 7-6, 6-4 win over Noel Scott gave the Cowgirls their only point of the match.
Follow the Action
Live stats and play-by-play for each match acan be accesed through the tournament central page on rolltide.com.?@
The Cowgirls boast the No. 50 duo of Malika Rose and Kanyapat Narattana in doubles play. The Cowgirl tandem is 11-8 overall and 4-5 in Big 12 play. Freshman Meghan Blevins leads the team in singles play. She has the most wins this season with a 14-5 overall record and a 5-4 mark in league play, playing primarily at the No. 3 position.
Chris Young will make his first appearance in the tournament as the Cowgirls’ head coach. Under his direction, the Cowgirls have achieved a 32-35 overall record and a 13-18 conference mark. This year, he coached the Cowgirls to three wins over nationally ranked teams and nine-straight weeks of national ranking. Before his time at OSU, Young led Wichita State to the school’s first three NCAA tournaments after winning conference championships in 2006, 2007 and 2009. While at WSU, Young was named the ITA Central Region Coach of the Year.
Cowgirls at the NCAA Tournament
Oklahoma State is making its first appearance at the NCAA tournament since 2003 and its 14th appearance overall. The Cowgirls are 7-13 overall in NCAA tournament play, with their most recent win coming in the first round against ORU in 2001. The furthest the Cowgirls have advanced was the quarterfinal rounds in 1985, 1986 and 1989.
Cowgirl freshmen Meghan Blevins and Mary Jeremiah are in their firsts seasons as Cowgirls and have already put together some impressive resumes. The duo, which came to Oklahoma State as the fourth-ranked recruiting class in the nation according to tennisrecruiting.net, teamed in doubles play all spring putting together a team-best 12-5 dual record. In addition to leading the team in singles wins with 14, Blevins topped 107th-ranked Rashmi Teltumbde of Texas Tech for her biggest win of the spring and upset the No. 412 player in the world, Alexis King, in fall play.
The 2012 Cowgirl tennis squad did what no other women’s tennis team at OSU has done since 1989 when it defeated Texas, 4-3, in Stillwater to end the regular season. It was the highest-ranked team the Cowgirls have defeated since the creation of the Big 12 and possibly the biggest win for the OSU program.