Lincoln - Nebraska senior Mary Weatherholt opens play in the NCAA Singles Championship when she takes on UNLV's Alexsandra Josifoska in the first round of the 64-player field Wednesday, May 22, at 10:30 a.m. (central) at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill.
Josifoska will provide Weatherholt with a familiar foe from a recent match. In fact, the Big Ten's automatic bid into the NCAA Singles Championship defeated UNLV's Josifoska in the No. 1 singles match in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at NU's Varsity Tennis Courts on May 11. Weatherholt's straight-set win helped the Huskers advance to their first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 as a team.
Weatherholt, a native of Prairie Village, Kan., already has secured All-America honors in singles with her seeding (9-16) in the tournament, and will be looking to advance farther than any other player in Husker history. However, the No. 11-ranked Weatherholt won't be looking past the talented Josifoska, who was ranked No. 38 nationally when they locked horns in Lincoln less than two weeks ago.
If Weatherholt can get past Josifoska, her road in the NCAA Singles Championship could include another recent foe in the second round. North Carolina's Whitney Kay, who is ranked No. 39 nationally in singles, faced Weatherholt in doubles action in the Huskers' 4-1 loss to the Tar Heels in the NCAA Sweet 16 on May 17. If Kay can defeat Cal's Klara Fabikova in the first round match set for 11 a.m., she would meet Weatherholt on the singles court for the first time. Their match at No. 1 doubles last Friday was not completed.
To win an NCAA Singles Championship, Weatherholt must win six consecutive matches in the single-elimination tournament. The No. 1 overall seed in the tournament is Florida's Lauren Embree.
In doubles action, Weatherholt will team with fellow NU senior Patricia Veresova in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championship. The No. 3-seeded Huskers, who have both captured All-America honors as doubles players with their seeding in the tournament, will face Georgia State's Masa Grgan and Abigail Tere-Apisah in Thursday's first round. A time for the first-round doubles match has not yet been announced.
If the Huskers can pick up a victory, they would advance to face William & Mary's Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans or Auburn's Pleun Burgmans and Plamena Kurteva in Friday's round of 16. Weatherholt and Veresova must win five consecutive matches in the single elimination tournament in order to be claimed national champions.
Georgia's Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia are the No. 1 overall seeds in the NCAA Doubles Championship.
All singles and doubles matches will be held at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill., May 22-27.