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by Jim Heath

Women's Tennis Tangles With South Carolina In NCAA Opener Saturday

For the fifth straight year, Old Dominion women’s tennis team participates in the NCAA Tournament and their road starts on Saturday morning.

Match 8-0083Match 8-0083

#62 Old Dominion (17-5) vs. #19 South Carolina (17-7) – NCAA First Round

Where: Raleigh, N.C. – J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center

When: Saturday, May 4 – 11 a.m.

Live Stats: here

Live Video: here

NORFOLK, Va. – For the fifth straight year, Old Dominion women’s tennis team participates in the NCAA Tournament and their road starts on Saturday morning.

62nd-ranked ODU (17-5) faces 19th-ranked South Carolina (17-7) at 11 a.m. Saturday morning on the campus of N.C. State. The winner of that match will take on the winner of N.C. State and S.C. State on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the regional final.

A win for the Monarchs on Saturday would put them into a 5 p.m. match on Saturday against the winner of 14th-ranked N.C. State and S.C. State in the regional final.

“The two-seed vs. the three-seed NCAA regional round matchup is as contentious and high pressure as it gets. We are ready to compete,” said ODU Head Coach Dominic Manilla.

The Monarchs enter the tournament winners of 13 matches in a row after capturing their second straight Sun Belt Tournament crown and fourth straight league crown on Sunday defeating App State 4-2.
Lidiia Rasskouskaia enters the tournament with a team best 19-1 record this spring and has won her last 12 matches. Ulyana Romanova is 16-4 mainly at No. 6 in the lineup, while Alexandra Viktorovitch is 14-4 and has won her last 12 matches in a row mainly at the No. 2 spot. Junior Sofia Johnson is 12-4 at the top of the lineup. In doubles, Johnson and Rasskouskaia lead the Monarchs with a 14-5 record this spring at No. 1.
Johnson was named Sun Belt Player of the Year and earned first team All-Conference honors in singles and in doubles with Rasskouskaia. Viktorovitch joined Johnson on first team All-Conference singles, while Romanova was named Freshman of the Year and Rasskouskaia was also named Player to Watch in the league. Manilla was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year for the second straight year.

Johnson earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Singles Championships as the Sun Belt Conference only ranked player coming in 116th in the latest poll. The individual championships are May 20-25 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

South Carolina lost its second-round match to Florida in the SEC Tournament 4-3 on April 19. Ayana Akli is ranked 11th nationally playing the top spot in their lineup and has a 26-10 record. Sarah Hamner is ranked 19th nationally playing in the two spot and sports a 31-7 mark. Those two are ranked 28th nationally in doubles with a 10-9 mark this spring at the top spot of the lineup.
These teams met last year in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with ODU taking a 4-2 victory.