Leading the way is senior All-American Aibika Kalsarieva, who automatically qualified for the singles championships as one of the top four players in the south region. Kalsarieva became the first Wildcat to reach the quarterfinals of the 64-player singles tournament a season ago when she defeated highly-ranked opponents from Washington, Georgia and Duke.
Joining Kalsarieva as a two-time NCAA singles participant is sophomore Sarah Foster, who followed a sterling freshman season with a solid sophomore campaign. The reigning ITA Southeast Region Rookie of the Year fell to Clemson's Julie Coin in the opening round a season ago. The 64th-ranked Foster tallied a 7-4 SEC record this season and collected key victories over Florida's 13th-ranked Zerene Reyes, Florida State's 15th-ranked Mihaela Moldovan and Clemson's 59th-ranked Romy Farah to secure the at-large bid.
Making her debut in the NCAA singles championships will be sophomore Kim Coventry. The Melbourne, Australia-native used a difficult freshman season to her benefit as a sophomore, turning in a 15-4 fall tournament record before registering a 19-7 mark in dual-match play. After winning only four of 16 matches a season ago, Coventry now enjoys a career-high No. 30 singles ranking. Perhaps her most notable victory of the season came at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in February, when she sent the Cats to the finals by defeating Duke's Jenny Zika in a long, three-set match. Kentucky joins top-ranked Stanford, Southern California and Vanderbilt as the only schools sending three or more student-athletes to the NCAA singles championships.
Kentucky will send two doubles teams to the 32-team NCAA doubles championships for only the third time in the program's history and the first time since 2001. UK's seventh-ranked tandem of Foster and Kalsarieva will make their second NCAA appearance in as many seasons after compiling a 26-9 record and earning a first-team All-SEC selection. Foster and Kalsarieva will look to make amends after suffering a straight-set defeat to Michigan's Michelle DaCosta and Kara Delicata in the opening round of the 2004 NCAA doubles championships.
Sophomore Joelle Schwenk will make her first NCAA individual appearance when she teams up with Coventry in the doubles championships. Coventry and Schwenk own a No. 22 national ranking after compiling an incredible 31-9 record this season, including a 7-3 mark in SEC play. Kentucky, Florida and Stanford are the only teams sending two doubles pairs to the NCAA doubles championships.
The NCAA singles and doubles championships draws will be released on Sunday, May 22. The opening round of singles play begins on May 23, and the doubles tournament will begin on May 24.