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Tennis players chosen for tourney

Sept. 11, 1996

By Darcy McMichael

Lariat Sports Reporter

In the midst of a new season, three Baylor women tennis players have been selected to play in the prestigious T. Rowe Price National Intercollegiate Clay Court Tournament on Sept. 21-27 in Baltimore, Md.

Senior Julie Hamilton of Plano, senior Carolyn McGrath of Cornwall, NY, and junior Sophie Goldschmidt of Surry, England were chosen to play in the 148-person singles draw. They were chosen after the team had a finishing ranking of 49 last spring in Division 1 standings and a second place standing in the Southwest Conference with a season record of 15-7.

Individually, Goldschmidt finished the 1996 season with a 25-7 singles record, McGrath with 23-11, and Hamilton went 18-15.

'Being able to play in an International Tennis Association Grand Slam is a tremendous opportunity,' head coach David Luedtke said. 'It is a very deserving invitation and it is also a chance for them to play against the best and show what they can do.'

The tournament is divided up into three different phases: pre-qualifying, qualifying, and main. Players are placed in open slots in different brackets, determined by their personal rankings from the previous season.

Goldschmidt will participate in the pre-qualifying draw along with 64 other players. The top eight will then advance on to the qualifying bracket with 56 other girls including Hamiliton and McGrath. Out of those, the top four finishers will advance to the 32-person main draw.

Along with playing in the singles competition, Goldschmidt and Hamilton will also compete in doubles.

'It's a real honor and it's exciting,' Goldschmidt said. 'Plus, it is a chance to meet new people.'

The doubles competition will be run the same way as the singles, with three different brackets for players to advance through. Goldschmidt and Hamilton have already been placed in the qualifying bracket.

'An advance in the tournament in either singles or doubles competition will help solidify rankings in regional and national standing, ' Luedtke said.

Last year Baylor did not send a player to the tournament, but in 1994 Greta Gibson and Melissa Castro represented the team. Castro, who is now the assistant coach, reached the main draw after winning four matches in the qualifying bracket.

'It's great to have players selected to the tournament, but we aren't satisfied with that,' Luedtke said. ' For us to go in there and win some matches would do a lot for us in the rankings and for our confidence. And that would correlate back to the whole team.'

The team will also be competing in the Four- Way tournament Sept. 27-28 in Waco and the Rolex tournament Nov. 2 in Austin to qualify for national indoors competition.

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