May 26, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - Pepperdine senior Bassam Beidas opened the 2010 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championships with a first-round victory over James Meredith of Boise State on Wednesday. In the women's draw, USF's Jennifer-Lee Heinser (#93) dropped her first round NCAA Championships match to South Florida's Irene Rehberger (#43) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens on Wednesday afternoon.
Beidas (Cairo, Egypt), ranked #32, won by the score of 7-6 (4), 6-3 against Meredith, who is ranked #55. Beidas had lost to Meredith in straight sets in Malibu on March 30 but evened the score today. Beidas improved to 32-11 this season in singles and has won 10 of his last 11 matches.
Beidas' second-round match will be on Thursday against Alexandre Lacroix of Florida, who is ranked #7 in the nation and seeded #8 in the tournament. With a victory, Beidas would advance to the Round of 16 and earn All-American honors for the third straight year.
Beidas and sophomore Alex Llompart (Carolina, Puerto Rico) begin the NCAA Doubles Tournament on Thursday against the #6-ranked team of Dimitar Kutrovsky and Josh Zavala of Texas.
Heinser was the West Coast Conference's only representative on the women's side and is the only Dons women's tennis player to ever compete in the tournament.
Heinser earned the West Coast Conference's automatic bid after a spectacular 2010 season. The Miami, FL native finished 20-1, including 10-0 in conference play. Heinser also earned her third consecutive WCC Player of the Year Award, the first time any Don has done so since Bill Cartwright (1977-79). She is currently ranked 105th in the nation, the highest ranking of any WCC player.
Previously, Heinser competed in the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Championships. In 2008, she fell to No. 1 seeded Aurelija Miseviciute, a sophomore from the University of Arkansas in the first round at the University of Tulsa. Heinser took a 6-2 first set victory before falling 6-3, 6-2 in the final two sets.
The following year, Heinser dropped her first round match to Florida State freshman, No. 36 Noemi Scharle, at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. Scharle took the first set 6-4, before Heinser came back with a 6-4 victory of her own in the second set. But it wasn't enough as Scharle took the final set 6-2 to earn the match victory.
Heinser completed her stint on the Hilltop after graduating on May 7 with honors from USF's McLaren College of Business. For her three year career, Heinser went 57-7 in singles play, all at the No. 1 position. She earned three consecutive West Coast Conference Player of the Year awards, the first for USF since basketball great Bill Cartwright won three consecutive from 1977-79. Heinser is also the first women's tennis athlete to win the award three times since its inception in 1997.
Heinser is the first Dons athlete to earn consecutive Player of the Year Honors since men's soccer great Staale Soebye won two consecutive awards in 1993 and 1994. She joins an impressive list of Dons men's basketball stars who have also won consecutive awards, including Quintin Dailey (1980-81, 1981-82), Ollie Johnson (1963-64, 1964-65), and Mike Farmer (1956-57, 1957-58). The Miami, FL native previously earned the WCC Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009, and also was named WCC Newcomer of the Year in 2008.
Heinser also earned three WCC First Team Singles nods (2008-10), and two WCC Second Team Doubles accolades (2009-10). She was a star academically as well, earning spots on two WCC Spring All Academic Teams (2008-09), two WCC Commissioner's Honor Rolls (2008-09), and an ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA District VIII All-Academic nod in 2009. All three honors have yet to be awarded this year.