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Saint Mary'es College Athletics

Women's Tennis

WTEN | SMC Earns Fourth Straight NCAA Tournament Berth
Release: Friday 04/30/2013 
by SMC Athletics

MORAGA, Calif. -- For the fourth straight year, the Saint Mary's women's tennis team is going dancing.

The Gaels found out Tuesday that they will take on Auburn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on May 10. Saint Mary's won't have to travel far, as the match will take place at Cal's Hellman Tennis Complex at 10 a.m. Cal will play Stony Brook in the second match of the day.

At 13-9 overall, Saint Mary's is currently ranked No. 40 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. The Gaels earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament after falling to Pepperdine in last week's West Coast Conference Tournament final. Auburn is ranked No. 21, and comes to California with a record of 18-8.

"We're excited to be in the NCAA Tournament again," Saint Mary's coach Lisa Alipaz said. "We didn't accomplish what we wanted to last week at the WCC Tournament and we're looking forward to improving on that against a tough Auburn team."

The postseason berth also carries a bit of history with it, as the women's tennis team is believed to be the first Saint Mary's team to earn four straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Already a season filled with highlights, Saint Mary's comes into the tournament with wins over six ranked opponents. The Gaels' biggest win came Feb. 16, when they went on the road to defeat No. 7 Stanford 4-3.

Leading the way individually has been No. 1 singles player Jenny Jullien. The junior from Perpignan, France is 17-6 this spring, and is currently ranked No. 23 in the nation in singles play.

Auburn started strong this season, winning 14 of its first 15 spring dual matches. The Tigers fell to No. 4 Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament on April 19.

SEC Freshman of the Year Pleun Burgmans leads Auburn in singles, as the Netherlands native went 15-3 in dual matches this season. She is ranked No. 20 in the country.