March 9, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - While the University goes on spring break next week, the WSU women's tennis team will spend their time off in San Diego, Calif. for back-to-back dual action March 12-15.
The University of San Diego hosts an eight-team tournament bracket, extending this year's invitations to the Cougars, regional rival Fresno State, Yale, Southern Methodist, Michigan State, Santa Clara, and Virginia Tech for their three-day Women's Tennis Classic at the USD West Courts.
"All the teams are tough and most are ranked nationally," WSU assistant coach Jackie Booth said. "Their conferences are not as strong as the Pac-10, but these teams are gunning for NCAA tournament bids."
The No. 40 ranked Cougars (2-5) are scheduled to meet Michigan State (7-2) in the first round of competition and will either meet Santa Clara or No. 27 Virginia Tech (6-2) the following day. The meetings with the Spartans and Hokies will be firsts for WSU, while the Cougars hold a 2-1 all-time record versus the Broncos.
For the first time in collegiate tennis, postseason selection will mirror men's basketball. There will be automatic bids for conference champions to get a larger representation into the tournament, Booth said.
"Our goal is to avenge our loss to Fresno State last month and possibly meet them in the finals of the tournament," Booth said. "With NCAAs ahead, we want to post some upsets against nationally-ranked teams. We just have to go out there and beat potential conference winners."
After the San Diego tournament the Cougars face No. 27 San Diego State (8-4) Monday, March 15 at the SDSU East Courts. This is the first meeting for both schools.
Tennis Notes...Sophomore Erica Perkins (Seattle, Wash.) moved up to No. 37 in the nation in singles, her highest career ranking to date...The doubles combo of Perkins and Sarah Burrows (Lakewood, Colo.) dropped to No. 45 in the latest ITA rankings...The warm weather down in California will be a plus for the Cougars after being plagued by unpredictable winter storms in Pullman..."We are always anxious to get outside," Booth said...According to rules, conditions that can hold off a match include temperatures below 50 degrees and winds higher than 35 miles per hour...WSU coach Cari Groce will be on the Tuesday press conference call at 1 p.m.