For Immediate Release: March 8, 2006
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Unbeaten women's tennis prepares for historic opportunity against UMass on Friday

VESTAL, N.Y.-- The Binghamton women's tennis team (6-0) enters its match on Friday night at 6 p.m. against Massachusetts (6-3) with a chance to break the school record for the best dual match start in the program's 35-year history. The Bearcats are currently tied with the inaugural 1972-73 squad and tied for the 1987-88 team, both of whom also won their first six dual matches.

Standing in the way, however, is a formidable Minutewomen squad whom the Bearcats have yet to beat in three tries since moving up to the Division I level in 2001. The past two seasons, Binghamton went 27-12 in dual matches but lost a pair of 4-3 heartbreakers to UMass in the process.

Binghamton has already recorded its first-ever win over Army this season, winning 5-2 back on Feb. 4. The Minutewomen edged that same Army squad 4-3 this past Saturday.

On an individual level, senior Zeynep Altinay (Ankara, Turkey), the Bearcats' top-ranked single's player, is in postion to win her school-record 80th singles match. She is currently 79-25 all time. Fellow senior Lya Kushnirovich (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who is at No. 3 singles, is right behind Altinay with an all-time singles record of 77-28.

Sophomore Juliana Umeki (Mogi de Cruises, Brazil), the squad's No. 2 singles player, has bounced back from a tough start to win her last two matches. Freshman Erica Rosenblum (Albany, N.Y.) has been the top newcomer this season, piling up a record of 11-4 while playing primarily at fourth and fifth singles.

Also factoring into the mix this spring have been senior
Jelena Koprivica (Belgrade, Serbia), junior Jenn Naegeli (Putnam Valley, N.Y.), sophomore Nicole Scarangella (Massapequa, N.Y.) and freshman Danyelle Shapiro (Boca Raton, Fla.).

Since April 8, 2004, Binghamton has gone 38-13 in dual matches and has been the runner up at the America East Conference Tournament the past two seasons. Fourth-year head coach Mike Stevens is the two-time America East Conference Coach of the Year, Altinay was voted the conference's top player in 2005 and Umeki was chose the top rookie in 2006.

PLEASE NOTE: Friday's match will be held in Ithaca, N.Y.

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