Lady Rebels Sting Yellow Jacket Duo|
May 24, 2007
ATHENS, Ga. - Elena Gantcheva and Kristina Nedeltcheva became only the second duo in UNLV history to win a match at the NCAA Doubles Championship and did it in style - stunning the nation's third-ranked team to advance at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on Thursday.
Gantcheva and Nedeltcheva, ranked 20th, cruised past third seed Whitney McCray and Kristi Miller of the national champion Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.
Both natives of Sofia, Bulgaria, the Lady Rebel players improved their record to 24-3 overall and a shiny 6-1 vs. ranked opponents. The pair now has two top-10 wins this spring after having also upset TCU's sixth-ranked duo back on April 1.
Friday's Round of 16 will produce a rematch as Gantcheva and Nedeltcheva take on 21st-ranked Lindsay Burdette and Anne Yelsey of Stanford. The same teams faced each other in a dual match on March 28 in Las Vegas and UNLV's duo won 8-1. The Cardinal pair advanced Thursday by rolling over 17th-ranked Audra Cohen and Laura Vallverdu of Miami (Fla.) 6-2, 6-1.
"This is one of the biggest wins in our program's history," UNLV head coach Kevin Cory said from the University of Georgia campus. "Elena and Kristina played solid, textbook tennis and were very businesslike from start to finish. Now we look forward to taking on Stanford's No. 1 team with All-America honors on the line for both sides."
The winner of Friday's match moves into Saturday's quarterfinals and earns automatic All-America status. The doubles final is scheduled for Monday.
Before this season, the last UNLV women's players to make the NCAA doubles field were Katarina Malec and Marianne Bakken in 2000. The duo became the first Lady Rebels in history to win a match but then fell in the Round of 16.