Women’s Tennis Begins NCAA Quest; Set to Host First and Second Rounds 5/7/03

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt women’s tennis team will return to familiar grounds this weekend, as the Commodores will be competing in their ninth-consecutive NCAA Tournament. For Vanderbilt, it will be the sixth-straight time it has hosted a NCAA Tournament Regional. The Commodores will be putting their five-year streak of Sweet 16 appearances on the line when the tournament begins Friday.

The 15th-ranked Commodores (18-5) will kick things off at 2 p.m. (CST) Friday against America East Conference champion Boston University (10-11) at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center. The Commodores, who are the tournament’s 10th seed overall, will be joined by Boston University, 21st-ranked Notre Dame (15-8) and 38th-ranked Missouri (14-6) in Nashville. Notre Dame and Missouri will play at 10 a.m. (CST) Friday in the first match of the day.

Just like Vanderbilt, the Terriers of Boston University are no strangers to the NCAA Tournament. The Terriers are making their fifth-straight trip to the tournament. They have played at Pepperdine, Stanford, UCLA and Kentucky the previous four years. For the Commodores, they hold an all-time tournament record of 17-8. They have won seven of their last 10 matches in the NCAAs.

For Vanderbilt head coach Geoff Macdonald, it will be his 13th appearance in the tournament. He has made nine trips with Vanderbilt, three when he was head coach at Duke and one at Louisiana State.

For information on all four teams and on admission and parking, please read below.

Bullet Points on Participating Teams from 2003 Season


• Vanderbilt is making its ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Commodores finished runner-up to Stanford in 2001 and have made five-straight appearances in the Sweet 16.

• Senior Sarah Riske earned All-SEC Second Team honors in both singles and doubles in 2003. This is the second-straight year she has been named to both teams. Riske was by doubles partner Aleke Tsoubanos on the second team. They have been ranked as high as No. 1 this year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and will enter this weekend ranked third.

• Junior Kelly Schmandt and sophomore Audra Falk earned All-SEC First Team in doubles at the No. 2 position.

• Riske has had an illustrious four years for the Commodores in both singles and doubles. Heading into this weekend’s action, she has won 100 singles and 105 doubles matches.

• Five of the seven members of the team have won at least 20 singles matches this year, and six of the seven have won at least 10 dual matches. Freshman Ashley Schellhas leads the team with 24 overall singles wins, while Riske, Tsoubanos and Schmandt all won 18 dual matches.

• Falk has posted a 43-9 singles record over her first two seasons with the Commodores.

Boston University

• The Terriers have won the last 9 America East titles and 14 of the last 15.

• This is the fifth straight year the Terriers have advanced to the NCAAs having played at Pepperdine, Stanford, UCLA, and Kentucky the last 4 years.

• There is just one senior on the team-captain, Alana Marcu.

• The Terriers are coached by Lesley Sheehan, who played at Boston University and was the first B.U. women's tennis player to qualify for the NCAA Tournament when she played in the 1983 national tournament.

Notre Dame

• Notre Dame is making its 10th NCAA Championships appearance in the last 11 seasons (all under the guidance of current head coach Jay Louderback). The Irish are 11-9 in NCAA matches, advancing to the quarterfinals in 1996 and the round of 16 in 1993, 1994, 2000 and 2001.

• For the fifth time in school history, Notre Dame will send two players (junior Caylan Leslie - #39 in the nation, and junior Alicia Salas - #94 in the nation) to the NCAA singles championships. The Irish have sent at least one player into the NCAA singles competition 14 times in the last 15 years (1989-present), only failing to do so in 2002.

• This season, Notre Dame has faced 18 teams that were ranked at the time of the match, including 11 Top 25 squads. The Irish are 10-8 against ranked opponents -- 3-8 vs. the Top 25 and 7-0 vs. teams ranked 26-75.

• Following its 4-3 loss at No. 25 Kentucky on Feb. 24, Notre Dame was 4-5 ... the Irish then turned their season around by winning 11 of their last 14 matches ... their only three losses down the stretch were at No. 7 Arizona State (5-2), at home vs. No. 13 William & Mary (4-3) and at No. 25 Miami (6-1).

• Notre Dame won its fifth BIG EAST Conference Championship in its eight-year affiliation with the league back on April 27, ousting defending champion and tournament host Miami, 4-3 in Coral Gables, Fla.


• Tiger veterans Urska Juric and Katka Sevcikova were named All-Big 12 First Team and freshman Hana Kraftova was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.

• Juric was selected to compete in the field of 64 at the 2003 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Individual Championships. Juric and Sevcikova were chosen to compete in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championships.

• The Tigers made it to the Big 12 championship for the first time in program history. Missouri won their first-ever match at the tournament and finished above .500 for the first time in the history of the Big 12.

Admission/Parking for Spectators

• Admission for the NCAA Tournament Women’s First and Second Rounds at the Currey Tennis Center will be free.

• There will be specific parking for those spectators wishing to come out on Friday morning to watch the Notre Dame-Missouri match because of Vanderbilt’s graduation. Parking will be available in the 25th Ave. parking garage for $2. The Natchez Trace parking lots, which are located across the street from the football practice fields, are also available free of charge. For the Vanderbilt-Boston University match in the afternoon, parking will be available in the Highland Ave. parking garage and the lot behind the Hawkins Baseball Field.

• Those wishing to come out on Saturday can park in the Highland Ave. parking garage, the McGugin Center parking lot (Jess Neely Dr.) or the lot behind the Hawkins Baseball Field (Jess Neely Dr.). All parking for Saturday and Sunday’s matches will be free.

• There will be no parking available for spectators at the Currey Tennis Center.




Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)