Batta Begins NCAA Play Wednesday
May 22, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV tennis standout Lucia Batta will attempt to become the first Lady Rebel in a dozen years to advance at the NCAA Singles Championship when the event kicks off Wednesday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
Batta, a sophomore who is ranked 65th nationally, will face 14th-ranked Zoe Scandalis (seeded 9-16) of USC at 10:30 a.m. PT. Live scoring and video of the match is scheduled to be linked at www.unlvrebels.com. It will be a rematch from earlier this season as the pair met in the quarterfinals of UNLV's Freeman Memorial Championships when Scandalis outlasted Batta 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 on Jan. 14.
The winner will move on to Thursday's second round vs. the winner of No. 18 Anna Bartenstein of Miami (FL) and 51st-ranked Liudmila Vasilieva of Washington State.
"Anytime you're in the NCAA tournament it's an exciting time," said UNLV head coach Kevin Cory. "This is a great experience and great opportunity for Lucia. We are looking forward to what will be a battle against one of the top players in the country tomorrow."
The 2012 Mountain West Player of the Year, Batta is the seventh UNLV woman overall to earn an NCAA singles spot. The last Lady Rebel to advance was All-American Katarina Malec, who rolled into the 2000 final four before falling in the semifinals to the eventual national champion. UNLV entries are 0-4 in singles since that season.
Batta, a native of Budapest, Hungary, is the seventh Lady Rebel to earn the honor and first since Kristina Nedeltcheva in 2010. Batta earned the league's automatic bid to the field of 64 by being the highest ranked player in the Mountain West. She has turned in a spectacular spring season as her 31-8 overall singles record ties her for seventh all-time at the school for single-season wins. She is 22-2 in dual matches, including going 7-0 in conference action.