Army Set To Face No. 7 UCLA In NCAA First Round

Rookie Eva Sung

Rookie Eva Sung

May 9, 2013

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Army women's tennis team touched down in the Golden State on Thursday in great anticipation of Saturday's NCAA First Round. Making the program's 13th NCAA appearance, the Black Knights will face No. 7 UCLA on Saturday, May 11, at 3 p.m. ET at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

The Bruins will serve as regional hosts for the Patriot League champion Black Knights, Oklahoma State and Long Beach State. Army (22-6) will be making its 13th appearance at the national tournament after earning the Patriot League's automatic bid by topping Navy in the conference title match for the third straight year. With 22 victories, the Black Knights surpassed the 20-win mark for the sixth consecutive year and seventh time under the direction of 2013 Patriot League Coach of the Year Paul Peck.

Army, who fell at No. 8 Alabama in last season's First Round, will be looking for its first NCAA win (0-12) when it faces UCLA for the second time in four years. The Black Knights dropped a 4-0 match to the host Bruins in the 2010 NCAA First Round at Los Angeles Tennis Center.

Bruins have won four of their last five dual matches and enter the NCAA Tournament sporting a 16-5 overall record. UCLA produced Pac-12 champion freshman Kyle McPhillips at last weekend's conference championship in Ojai, Calif. The Bruins have won two NCAA titles and last won the tournament in 2008.

UCLA was ranked No. 8 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll, while Oklahoma State stood at No. 32 and Long Beach State landed at No. 45; Army was unranked. The Cowgirls (15-8) and 49ers (21-3) will do battle in the other bracket and will face the winner of the Army-UCLA contest on Sunday, May 12.

Saturday will prove to be a tough test for a young Black Knights' squad that features three freshmen in the starting lineup. Those rookies, however, have proven themselves over the course of the season and two earned All-Patriot League honors last week - No. 3 Eva Sung (first team) and No. 4 Carolyn Pitman (second team). The other, Carolyn Pitman, holds down the fifth flight and leads the team in singles wins (26-7).

Senior co-captain Erin Colton started at No. 2 singles in the 2010 tournament at UCLA. She is expected top Peck's lineup on Saturday and most likely go up against UCLA's Robin Anderson, who landed third in the latest ITA national rankings.

First team All-Patriot League performer Jamila Paul's most likely opponent at No. 2, Kyle McPhillips, is ranked 20th in the nation. The 2013 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year owns a 24-6 singles record this spring. Classmate Della Taylor, whose match-clinching point earned her Patriot League Championship Most Valuable Player honors, rounds out the lineup at No. 6.

Della and sister Elle Taylor will likely face the 25th-best tandem in the country at No. 1 doubles. Colton and Paul are 22-7 on the season and have routinely held down the second flight, followed by Spindler and junior Margaret Iliev at No. 3.

Senior co-captain Larraine Saavedra and rookie Haley O'Connor made the trip west as alternates.

Live statistics throughout Saturday's match are available by visiting the women's tennis schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com and clicking on the event.

Tickets for the NCAA Regionals can be purchased upon entrance to the Los Angeles Tennis Center (no advanced ticket sales). Prices are $7 for adults and $5 for youth/students.

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