DURHAM, N.C. - Duke freshmen Ellah Nze and Reka Zsilinszka and the Blue Devil duo of sophomore Amanda Granson and junior Melissa Mang will begin action at the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships in Tulsa, Okla., this week as Nze and Zsilinszka received at-large bids for the singles portion of the event and Granson and Mang received the No. 8 seed for the doubles competition.
Nze ranked 21st in the nation, is set to face 54th-ranked Andrea Remynse of UCLA in first round action on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. CT, while 24th-ranked Zsilinszka will go up against 37th-ranked Venice Chan of Washington at 2 p.m. CT. The seventh-ranked pair of Granson and Mang will square off against the 28th-ranked Marshall tandem of Kellie Schmitt and Karolina Soor on Thursday.
A native of Tampa, Fla., Nze was named ACC Freshman of the Year and Southeast Region Rookie of the Year for 2008 and joined Zsilinszka and Granson on the All-ACC team. Nze owns a dual match singles record of 17-6 and has compiled an overall record of of 30-9 in her initial campaign with the Blue Devils.
Zsilinszka also had a stellar freshman season as the Fayetteville, N.C., native went 19-2 in dual matches on her way to an overall mark of 38-5 for the year. The 38 singles victories rank tied for 11th on Duke's all-time list.
"Once you get here, every match will be tough," said Duke head coach Jamie Ashworth, who led Duke to a 20-5 record this season. "Reka and Ellah had a good week of practice and I Ithink both of them are ready to play and are excited for the opportunity to play in the individual championships."
As the seventh-ranked doubles tandem in the nation, Granson and Mang received the No. 8 seed for the doubles competition, thus earning All-America honors. The Duke duo combined for a dual match mark of 15-7, all while playing at the top doubles position this spring. Granson and Mang went 26-10 as a pair in 2007-08, as the 26 triumphs rank as the eighth-most in school history.
"Amanda and Melissa have worked hard all year to get to this point," said Ashworth. "I think that already being named All-Americans is letting them play a little more free and without pressure. They're ready to go out and play their game and let the results take care of themselves."