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Women's Tennis Prepares for Matches in Alabama

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March 24, 2008

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The 62nd-ranked Thundering Herd women's tennis team will travel to Alabama to face two top-ranked opponents with a 2-5 record against ranked foes so far this season. Marshall University (12-6) will hope to upset the No. 30 Auburn University (10-4) at the Yarbrough Tennis Center Wednesday at 2 p.m. Then the Herd will square-off against 58th-ranked South Alabama (13-2), Thursday at the Bruce David Lubel Memorial Tennis Courts in Mobile, Ala. with first serve set for 1 p.m.

"We are excited to play outside again," Marshall's head coach John Mercer said. "These matches are preparing us for the Conference USA Tournament and help to improve our national ranking."

The Herd will face two singles and doubles teams in action Wednesday and Thursday. Auburn's Fani Chifchieva ranks 24th while the pair of Alex Haney and Melissa Koning stands at 18th. Wednesday's match will be the first meeting between Marshall and Auburn.

"Auburn has had a good start this season," Coach Mercer continued. "This will be a good match-up for us."

For the Jaguars, Michaela Babicova ranks 103rd with teammates Adrianna Solarova and Sylvanie Spangenberg are tied as the 35th-ranked duo. The all-time series lead is tied at 2-2 between the Jaguars and the Herd. Marshall took a 5-2 decision over South Alabama in 2007.

"South Alabama has posted excellent records and is playing much better this season," Coach Mercer added. "They play great at home so it will be a difficult place to play."

The No. 23 pair of Kellie Schmitt (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Karolina Soor (Lindesberg, Sweden) stands at 13-2 at the number one position. Playing the number two, Isabell Raich (Klaus, Austria) and Thaddea Lock (Bristol, England) holds an 8-9 record. Jessica Keener (Reston, Va.) and Yulia Kashelkina (Moscow, Russia) is at 11-6 playing the number three slot.

In singles competition, Schmitt (60th) holds a 16-1 record at the number one mark. Soor is 4-7 at the two and 4-1 at the number three. Raich stands 0-1 at the two, 8-2 at the three, and 2-5 at the number four position.

Jeanne Schwartz (West Palm Beach, Fla.) is 0-1 at the one, 3-3 at the two, 0-2 at three, and 6-3 at the number four slot. Lock holds a 9-6 record at the number five and 0-1 at the three. Keener is 2-0 at the four, 0-2 at the five, and 7-2 at the number six position. Kashelkina is 1-0 at the five and 5-3 at the number six mark.

The Herd stands 1-3 so far on its seven-match road trip.