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    Goulet Carries Illini Torch Into NCAA Championships
    Cynthya Goulet will compete in the NCAA Division I Women's Singles Tennis Championship Tournament in Athens, Ga., May 23-28.

    Cynthya Goulet will compete in the NCAA Division I Women's Singles Tennis Championship Tournament in Athens, Ga., May 23-28.

    May 5, 2005

    It has been a great week for Illinois senior Cynthya Goulet, but not perfect.

    The Longueil, Quebec native was presented as Illinois' 2005 Female Big Ten Medal of Honor (emblematic of excellence in both athletics and academics) winner Tuesday evening at the 15th annual Fighting Illini Scholar-Athlete Banquet. Today she earned All-Big Ten honors for the second year in a row and learned that she made the field of 64 for the NCAA Singles Championships, which take place May 23-28 at the University of Georgia in Athens.

    Her lone disappointment this week? The fact that the Fighting Illini didn't make it as a team into the 2005 NCAA Championship tournament. Illinois finished in a tie for sixth place in the Big Ten this season, and ended its season with an overall record of 12-11.

    "I really appreciate the individual honors," said Goulet, who sports a 3.96 grade point average in finance and accounting, "but it would have been fun to be able to compete along with my teammates for a couple of more weeks."

    "We're disappointed that we didn't get into the tournament as a team," said Lama, "but truth is, we fell short of several of our goals this season. We had a very young team this year and played in a lot of close matches, but our record just was not good enough. This feeling will serve as a motivation to our players to work their tails off this summer to get better."

    Lama was elated about Goulet's accomplishments.

    "Cynthya has been terrific," he said. "She is a hard worker and a terrific role model for our younger players. She has played great tennis this year and is truly deserving of her All-Big Ten selection and her spot in the NCAA Singles Tournament. Just look at her record."

    Goulet's record in 2004-05 has, indeed, been stellar. The 29-6 overall season ledger that she takes in to the NCAA Tournament includes 12 victories over Top-125 players as well as a 10-1 mark in Big Ten play. In fact, Goulet lost only one singles match the last two seasons in conference competition. She has won 20 of her last 22 matches. Her Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) ranking improved from No. 110 last fall to a high of No. 34 this spring.

    Goulet is not a newcomer to NCAA Tournament action. The Illini have played in the event as a team in five of the last seven seasons during Lama's tenure, including last year. Additionally, she and Jennifer McGaffigan competed in the 2004 NCAA Doubles Tournament.

    Pairings and seeds for the NCAA Singles Tournament have not yet been announced.

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