Agarycheva and Palmer Fall to Top-Seeded Team in Doubles at NCAA Championships

Alberstone from Bowdoin Defeats Agarycheva in Singles

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

CLAREMONT, CALIF. -- Willamette University tennis players Natalia Agarycheva (Sr., Vancouver, WA/Prairie HS/U. of Northern Colorado) and Shannon Palmer (Jr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) were defeated by the #1-seeded doubles team of Kendra Higgins and Chrissy Hu from the University of Chicago (Ill.) at the NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championships on Friday, May 27.

Higgins and Hu, the defending NCAA Division III champions in doubles, downed Agarycheva and Palmer, 6-1, 6-4. After falling in the first set, Agarycheva and Palmer surged out to a 3-0 lead in the second set, before Higgins and Hu rallied for the straight-set victory.

Also on Friday, Agarycheva fell to Kellen Alberstone form Bowdoin College (Maine) in the first round of singles. Alberstone defeated Agarycheva, 6-0, 6-1, and advanced into the Round of 16 against top-seeded Gabrielle Clark from Emory University (Ga.). Alberstone gave Clark a tremendous battle before Clark prevailed in three sets, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

Agarycheva ended the season with a 20-4 (.833) overall record in singles, including 14-3 this spring. She concluded her two years at Willamette with an impressive overall singles record of 45-9 (.833). Agarycheva and Palmer finished the year with a 14-3 record in doubles, all achieved this spring after Palmer studied abroad in Japan during the 2010 fall semester.

The Willamette women's tennis team, led by Head Coach Becky Roberts, earned a 10-7 dual match record this spring. The Bearcats were 7-5 (4th place) in the Northwest Conference and qualified for the NWC Tournament.

In the most recent NCAA Division III rankings, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on May 5, Willamette was #11 in the team rankings for the West Region. Agarycheva was listed at #4 in the West Region in singles. Agarycheva and Palmer were ranked #3 in the West Region in doubles.

Shannon Palmer and Natalia Agarycheva were defeated by the #1-seeded team of Kendra Higgins and Chrissy Hu from the University of Chicago.

Shannon Palmer and Natalia Agarycheva were defeated by the #1-seeded team of Kendra Higgins and Chrissy Hu from the University of Chicago.