Three Kentucky Women Selected for NCAA Individual Competition
May 1, 2003
The 12th-ranked University of Kentucky women's tennis team learned Thursday that three women were selected for the individual competition at this year's NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament. Senior Sarah Witten and freshman Nathalie Roels were selected for singles competition. Witten was also selected to the doubles competition with fellow senior Amy Trefethen.
"I am very happy for all three of these women," Coach Mark Guilbeau said. "Any time individuals are selected for big events or receive awards it is awesome, but it is also due to an entire team working together. I'm sure Sarah, Amy and Nathalie are all appreciative of the efforts of their teammates to help them achieve their goals."
This will be Witten's third consecutive appearance in the NCAA individual competition. She was selected to singles and doubles last year. She and partner Carolina Mayorga reached the semifinals of the doubles championship, on the way to earning their second-consecutive All-America selections. Witten has a record of 27-12 in singles and is ranked 37th in the country.
"This is a great feeling," the Naples, Fla., native said. "I've worked really hard and it's awesome to be rewarded this way.
"I really want to earn All-American in both singles and doubles this year. I'm very confident in my singles play and I've been playing well this year. I also feel that Amy and I will do well in doubles and have a chance to win it all."
For Trefethen, a co-captain on this year's team, this will be her first appearance in the NCAA individual competition. She and Witten began playing as a doubles team on Feb. 1, and haven't looked back since, posting a dual-match record of 15-3. They were ranked as high as No. 7 by the ITA and currently are ranked ninth.
Roels, who is the reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, became the first-ever UK women's tennis freshman to be selected to individual competition and has been spectacular in her first year of collegiate tennis. The Affligem, Belgium native opened the dual-match season ranked No. 49 in the country and went on to post an incredible 19-9 dual-match singles record, while playing all but two of her matches at the No. 2 position. She is currently ranked 65th, with an overall record of 32-14, and has had several big wins over the past few weeks including a victory over Florida's 15th-ranked Lindsay Dawaf and a straight-sets victory over No. 57 Anne Nguyen, of Georgia, in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.
"I am very excited about my selection," Roels said. "I didn't expect this at all in my first year, but to make the NCAAs is exciting.
"I could not have done this by myself; our team has a great coaching staff that is willing to work hard and take our games to a higher level, and of course my teammates. When you are part of a group that has such great spirit, your own level of play automatically goes up."
The individual rounds of the NCAA Tournament will begin with singles play on Monday, May 19. Doubles play will begin on May 20. All rounds will be played in Gainesville, Fla., at the Ring Tennis Complex on the Gators' campus, and will conclude on Thursday, May 24.