URBANA, IL - The NCAA released the draws for the 2013 Women’s Tennis Singles Championship on Tuesday. Clemson’s Yana Koroleva, Liz Jeukeng, and Beatrice Gumulya are among the 64 players in the field, and are each making their first career appearance in the national tournament. Play begins on Wednesday at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Urbana, IL. Gumulya plays at 10:00 am eastern, Koroleva at noon, and Jeukeng at 5:00 pm.
The Clemson contingent of three players marks the most players the Tigers have ever sent in a singles season, tying them with the 1986 squad. Each of the three players is ranked among the top-40 players in the nation in the ITA Singles Poll.
Live scoring and video of each of the player’s courts will be available when court assignments are made.
Koroleva enters the event as one of 16 national seeds, and is playing well going into the event, having won nine matches in a row and 16 of her last 17 overall. Ten of those 16 have come against nationally ranked players. She’ll open at 12:00 pm Wednesday with West Coast Conference Player of the Year Jenny Jullien of St. Mary’s, who is ranked 23rd in the nation and has ten wins against ranked players.
Koroleva sports a 25-7 overall record, and is coming off a 6-2, 6-0 win over No. 6 Lauren Herring of Georgia in the NCAA Sweet 16 last week. The winner between Koroleva and Jullien will play the winner between North Carolina’s Zoe De Bruycker and Georgia State’s Abigail Tere-Apisah, both of whom Koroleva has played this season.
Liz Jeukeng, the field’s youngest player at 16 years old, will take on Cindy Chala of Atlantic-10 Champion VCU at 5:00 pm. Chala went 14-4 in dual matches this season, and was named the A-10’s Most Outstanding Player, earning the conference’s automatic bid.
Jeukeng is the second known Clemson student-athlete ever to enroll in January and earn All-ACC honors the same season, joining Kyle Parker of baseball. Her 17th birthday falls on May 26th, which coincides with the semifinal round of the tournament. Jeukeng is 18-6 on the season, and has won nine matches against ranked competition this season.
The winner of the Jeukeng-Chala matchup will play Krista Hardebeck of Stanford or Pleun Burgmans of Auburn in the second round on Thursday.
Gumulya quietly put together a tremendous season in the third position for the Tigers, making her way up to 33rd in the national rankings, where she’s now 40th. She tied Koroleva with the team wins lead, going 25-5 so far. Gumulya sports a career record of 41-11, which places her among the top ten players in Clemson history in terms of winning percentage in singles play.
Gumulya will match up with No. 61 Dominique Harmath of Conference-USA Champion Rice at 10:00 am. Harmath played primarily at No. 2 singles, compiling a 24-9 overall record on the year.
The winner will play the winner between ACC Player of the Year Gina Suarez-Malaguti of North Carolina and Mary Anne MacFarlane of Alabama. Gumulya defeated Suarez during the 2012 season in dual match play, but has not played against Macfarlane.