University of Louisville women’s tennis seniors Julia Fellerhoff and Rebecca Shine will make school history when they take the court and begin play in the NCAA singles and doubles championships Wednesday and Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The pair will be the first Cardinals from women’s tennis to advance to the NCAA Doubles Championship. They will face the No. 10-ranked pair of Kristie Ahn and Carol Zhao of the No. 11 ranked Stanford Cardinal team at approximately 1 p.m. Stanford, the 2013 team champion, was beaten in the semi-finals by the University of North Carolina. The pair is 15-1 in dual match play. If they advance, they will play the winner of the Georgia State vs. Miami (Florida) match between Masa Grgan and Abigail Tere-Apisah and the Hurricane’s 5-8 seeded pair of Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno.
“This is a great accomplishment for Louisville Women’s Tennis and obviously for Julia and Becca,” said U of L coach Mark Beckham. “They have done a lot of `first-evers’ in their time here at Louisville but the two biggest accomplishments have now happened this year. Julia and Becca qualifying for the National Indoor and now making it into the NCAA National Championships is as big as it gets in college tennis! Becca and Julia are the definition of student athlete, they both are carrying right around a 3.5 GPA overall and are the two best players to ever play at Louisville. I am extremely proud and happy for these two, it couldn’t have happened to two better people. I know both Becca and Julia are extremely happy and honored to represent Louisville in the biggest event in our sport and are very excited about competing in the tournament.”
Automatic qualification into the Division I doubles championships is awarded to any conference with one or more eligible doubles teams ranked in the ITA Top 60 for eligible/entered doubles teams. For conferences with more than one doubles team within the ITA Top 60 eligible/entered doubles teams, the subcommittee applies the NCAA selection criteria to determine which doubles team is the automatic qualifier from those conferences. All doubles teams must have a minimum of 10 completed doubles matches, with five matches in the spring, in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection. All matches shall be the best-of-three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six- games-all will be used for all matches.
Shine and Fellerhoff reached the final match of the National Indoor Tournament and entered the season ranked No. 2 in the nation as a doubles team. They each achieved milestones this season. Shine registered her 104th win in singles to take over the school record and she also notched her 102st victory in doubles placing her second on the all-time doubles list. Fellerhoff went undefeated at home in singles over the past two seasons with a perfect 16-0 record at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.
“My job will be to get them focused on playing as well as they can in the first match. There is no need to look any further than their first round opponent. This is the best of the best! Hopefully they can play well and that will be good enough to get them through five matches. They feel like they have some unfinished business,” said Beckham.