Lady Raider's Kruse and Varnell at ITA Regions

October 24, 2001 · MT Media Relations
Murfreesboro, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's Manon Kruse and Stacy Varnell will begin play at the Omni Hotels 2001 Regional Tennis Tournament on the campus of Wake Forest University Thursday October 25 through Monday Oct. 29.

Varnell will play in the first round of qualifying on Thursday at 8 a.m. and will face North Carolina State's Kristen Nichols. Winners of the qualifying round will move into the first round of the singles draw on Friday.

Seeded No. 14, Kruse will not begin until Friday when she will meet a tough first round opponent in Lauren Rookledge of Kentucky at 8 a.m. Kruse's No. 14 seed is the highest seed a Lady Raider tennis player has received in school history.

Kruse had been carrying around an undefeated record until it was snapped by Vanderbilt's No. 17th ranked Sarah Riske on Sunday at the June Stewart Invitational. She now brings a 9-1 singles record into Friday's rounds and is 4-1 against ranked opponents.

"I am kind of glad Manon got that loss out of the way," said Middle Tennessee women's tennis coach Randy Holden. "This tournament is a great opportunity for Manon to face quality players and hopefully move up in the rankings."

Doubles action will also get underway on Thursday as the No. 7th seeded Kruse and Varnell received a first round bye. The doubles duo was also riding an undefeated record before it was snapped last week.

"Again I am glad we got that streak out of the way because you could feel that pressure building to keep it alive," Holden said. "Now Stacy and Manon can concentrate on just playing their game."

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