By Kristen Davis
Arizona Daily Wildcat April 30, 1997
Women receive bid
The UA women's tennis team did not sleep too soundly Monday night.
Senior Khristen Pietrucha, among others, lied awake hoping to hear the telephone ring to find out if they were one of the ten teams selected to bypass regional play.
Pietrucha's phone may have rung, but the news she had lied awake for did not come.
"I slept by the phone and Betsy (Miringoff) and Monique (Allegre) kept calling to see if I had heard anything," Pietrucha said. "I finally told them not to call unless they had the news."
It was not until yesterday morning that she got the news that Arizona had earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
The Championships begin on May 15 and are held in Palo Alto, Calif. this year.
"We are extremely ecstatic and just thrilled to get in," Bell said.
The announcement marks Arizona's 10th consecutive trip to the team championships.
The men's team was not selected to a regional site, thereby retiring its racquets early this season. They dropped their last eleven matches of the season and finished with an overall record of 5-16.
The Wildcats were among five teams from the Pacific 10 Conference Southern Division that received automatic bids.
The other Pac-10 schools the NCAA selection committee chose were Arizona State, Stanford, California and UCLA.
Arizona received an automatic bid last season as well. This time, however, the team was not as confident it would be one of the chosen because it finished with a few more losses.
"Last year it was kind of given to us," Pietrucha said. "We worked so hard to get there this season, so it's such a rush and more of an honor."
Arizona finished this season with an overall record of 14-8 and a fourth place finish in the conference.
Last season the Wildcats finished second after suffering just four losses on their way to a their first 20-win season.
"Now we don't take (the bid) for granted and I think that will make us fight harder in nationals," Pietrucha said.
Arizona is coming off an impressive showing at the Pac-10 Championships last weekend.
Junior Vicky Maes reached the singles championship before she was eliminated and junior Betsy Miringoff won the Invitational singles bracket. She teamed with Allegre, a sophomore, to win the Invitational's doubles title as well.
"The team is playing the best tennis it has all year," Bell said.
Arizona will not know who it will play first until regional play concludes on May 11.
For now, the Wildcats will focus on practicing and finishing the school year during the three weeks prior to nationals.
"It's unbelievable." Pietrucha said of the team's automatic bid. "We were up all night trying to find out."