Agarycheva is Ranked #8 in West Region in Singles

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University junior Natalia Agarycheva (Vancouver, WA/Prairie HS/U. of Northern Colorado) is ranked #8 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings for the West Region of NCAA Division III. Agarycheva has earned an overall record of 16-2 at #1 singles this spring, including a 14-1 mark against Northwest Conference competition.

Agarycheva and sophomore Shannon Palmer (Salem, OR/Sprague HS) also are ranked #4 in the West Region in doubles. So far this season, Agarycheva and Palmer have gone 9-4 at #1 doubles. They have achieved a 7-3 record in NWC matches.

The #1 player in the West Region in singles is Liz Lewis from Chapman University. Lewis defeated Agarycheva in a close match, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, on March 26 at Chapman's home courts.

Agarycheva's only other loss in singles so far this spring was to Abby Olbrich of Linfield College on Feb. 11 in McMinnville, Ore. Olbrich won the match, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Since then, Agarycheva has won 15 of 16 matches, including a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Olbrich in Salem, Ore., on March 13. Olbrich is ranked #13 in the Region.

Following Lewis in the West Region rankings is Siobhan Finicane of Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) at #2. Jamie Solomon of Pomona-Pitzer is ranked #3 and Kara Wang of Pomona-Pitzer is listed at #4. Katy Poettcker from Trinity University (Texas) is ranked #5.

In addition to Agarycheva and Olbrich, other NWC athletes ranked in the top 25 in singles are Amalia Nilsson of Lewis & Clark College at #11, Rachel Burns of Whitworth University at #20, Alyssa Roberg of Whitman College at #21, Sallie Katter of Linfield at #22 and Elise Otto of Whitman at #25.

The top ranked doubles pairing in the West is Chapman's team of Lewis and Kelly Fox. Paige Sumida and Whitney Waters from the University of Redlands (Calif.) are #2 in the Region, while Solomon and Wang of Pomona-Pitzer are #3. Agarycheva and Palmer follow at #4, with Arianna Mokhtari and Taylor Mannix from the University of California-Santa Cruz at #5.

Agarycheva and the rest of the Bearcats will take on Lewis & Clark in the first round of the NWC Tournament in Yakima, Wash., on Friday, April 16. Willamette, 10-6 overall and 11-8 in the NWC, is seeded #4 in the six-team tournament, while the Pioneers (9-7 NWC) are seeded #5. Match time is set for 8 a.m. (PDT).

During the regular season, Willamette defeated the Pioneers twice, winning 5-4 on Feb. 28 in Portland, Ore., and prevailing 6-3 on April 4 in Salem. In the other first round NWC Tournament match on Friday, #3 seed Whitman (12-4 NWC) will take on #6 seed Pacific (6-10).

The winner of the WU versus L&C match will take on regular season champion Whitworth in the semifinals at 12:30 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, while the loser will drop into the fifth place match at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

Whitworth, 15-1 in the NWC, has earned a bye in the first round. Linfield, which finished 14-2 (2nd place) in the NWC in the regular season, also claimed a first round bye. The Wildcats will meet the Whitman versus Pacific winner in the semifinals.

The NWC Tournament championship match and the third place place will be held on Saturday, April 17.

REGIONAL RANKINGS
Intercollegiate Tennis Association
Women's Tennis - West Region
Natalia Agarycheva is 16-2 in singles and is ranked #8 in the West Region.

Natalia Agarycheva is 16-2 in singles and is ranked #8 in the West Region.