Agarycheva to Open NCAA Singles Bracket against Alberstone of Bowdoin

WU Doubles Team of Agarycheva and Palmer will Take on Defending Champions

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University tennis players Natalia Agarycheva (Sr., Vancouver, WA/Prairie HS/U. of Northern Colorado) and Shannon Palmer (Jr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) have received exciting yet challenging draws for the 2011 NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championships, which begin on Friday, May 27 in Claremont, Calif. Agarycheva will be competing in singles and will combine with Palmer in doubles.

In the singles bracket of 32 athletes from throughout the nation, Agarycheva will take on Kellen Alberstone from Bowdoin College (Maine) in the first round at 9 a.m. (PDT) on Friday. The winner will advance into the Round of 16 to take on either #1-seeded Gabrielle Clark from Emory University or unseeded Sam Frank from Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) at 1 p.m. (PDT) on Friday.

The quarterfinals and semifinals in singles will be played on Saturday, May 28.

Agarycheva is 20-3 in singles during the 2010-11 season, including 14-2 this spring. She has a career singles record of 45-8 for the Bearcats. She is ranked #4 in the West Region.

Alberstone of Bowdoin owns a 15-5 singles record. She is 12-3 during the spring semester.

In doubles, Agarycheva and Palmer will take on the defending champions and #1 seeds, Kendra Higgins and Chrissy Hu from the University of Chicago, in the first round. Just 16 doubles teams were selected nationwide for the NCAA Championships.

The winners between Agarycheva/Palmer and Higgins/Hu will move into the quarterfinals to face either Laura Chen and Courtney Chin from Carnegie-Mellon University (Pa.) or Lucy Marchese and Nicole Reich from Williams College (Mass.) on Saturday at 2 p.m. (PDT).

As WU's top doubles team, Agarycheva and Palmer have earned a 14-2 mark in 2011. They did not compete during the fall semester because Palmer was on a study abroad trip to Japan.

Higgins and Hu of Chicago are 25-3 overall in doubles. They have achieved a 15-3 record this spring.

The NCAA Women's Tennis Championships are scheduled to continue through Sunday, May 29 with the semifinals and finals in doubles and the finals in singles.

Natalia Agarycheva will take on Kellen Alberstone of Bowdoin in the first round of singles at the NCAA Championships.

Natalia Agarycheva will take on Kellen Alberstone of Bowdoin in the first round of singles at the NCAA Championships.