Tigers Kick Off NCAA Tourney Against No. 24 Tulsa
STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 34 LSU women’s tennis team will face off against No. 24 Tulsa in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships at 1 p.m. CT Friday at the Greenwood Tennis Center.
The Tigers (15-10) have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past five seasons and have advanced to the second round in each of the past three seasons.
This marks the second-straight year that LSU has faced Tulsa in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Last year’s Tigers squad knocked off Tulsa in the first round by a score of 4-3 in Berkeley, California.
“We had a great match with them in the first round last year,” co-head coach Julia Sell said. “We both have a lot of the same players returning, so we know it’s going to be a battle just like it was last year. The best part about our conference is that we play tough matches with unbelievable rivalries week in and week out. We feel very prepared to battle and that’s the type of environment that our players thrive in.”
Senior Ryann Foster and junior Jessica Golovin each bring two years of NCAA Tournament experience to tomorrow’s match, including a pair of singles wins against Tulsa in last year’s first-round postseason match-up. Foster, ranked No. 114 in the country, is 11-5 this dual season playing mainly at court one while No. 92 Golovin has compiled an 18-4 dual record playing across courts two through four.
LSU’s SEC All-Freshman and All-SEC First Team selection Eden Richardson, ranked No. 53 in the country, will carry her 16-match win streak into the NCAA Tournament. Richardson’s 28-4 overall record is good for the highest winning percentage in the SEC and leaves her just two wins shy of becoming the 28th player in program history to record a 30-win season.
This season, Tulsa has compiled a 21-5 record and took home the title at the American Athletic Conference Championship. The Golden Hurricane are led by AAC Player of the Year Ksenia Laskutova, a senior ranked No. 80 in the country, and sophomore Martina Okalova, ranked No. 112. Laskutova has tallied a 17-4 dual singles record with four wins over ranked opponents playing at the top spot while Okalova has gone 12-4 playing primarily on court two.
The winner of Friday’s first-round match will advance to the second round of the Stillwater regional Saturday at 3 p.m. CT and face the winner of UMKC and No. 9 Oklahoma State. The winner of the Stillwater regional will advance to the Sweet 16 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina May 17-22.
For more information on the LSU women’s tennis program follow the Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.