May 14, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The WMU women's tennis team's 2000 season came to an end with a 5-1 loss to South Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in South Bend, Ind., on Saturday (May 13).
The Broncos finished the year with a 19-7 overall record. WMU made its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance after defeating Marshall, 4-0, in the title match of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
WMU battled the No. 20 Gamecocks, taking them to three sets in three of the matches.
"I think the highlight of the matches is that we were in it until the last second," WMU head coach Betsy Kuhle said. "Any time you win at number two and you're in it at the bottom (of the lineup), that means you're pretty even and I think you had a pretty good opportunity to win the match."
Senior Cyra Malik accounted for Western Michigan's lone point with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 triumph over Leigh Eichelberger at No. 2 singles. Malik concluded her career with 170 wins, the eighth-best total in program history. Fellow seniors Kendra Becker and Diana Dimitrescu concluded their careers with strong efforts. Dimitrescu lost a tough 7-6 (3), 6-4 No. 5 singles match to Lynn-Yin Tan. Becker battled at No. 6 before falling 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to Catherine Brown.
"I'm happy for Cyra to go out as a senior and win the final match of her career," Kuhle said. "She's contributed a tremendous amount. She's been in the lineup every year at the highest spots."
"It was disappointing to lose but we had a great season," Dimitrescu said. "I had a very fulfilling career (at Western Michigan). It really was a great season and a nice way to go out - winning the MAC championship at home and getting to the NCAAs."
Larissa Chinwah lost 6-0, 0-6, 6-1 at No. 1. Sophomore Nikki Thompson was defeated 6-4, 6-3 by Kathy Boyanovich at No. 3. Melanie Remynse lost 6-2, 6-1 to Tamara Sutton at No. 4.
Head coach Betsy Kuhle has led her team to six Mid-American Conference titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances during her tenure at WMU. Kuhle's teams have never finished lower than third and have maintained a perfect graduation rate in her 18 seasons in Kalamazoo. Five of her athletes have been named national scholar-athletes since 1989.
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