May 24, 2004
Senior Jennifer McGaffigan has played the last singles match of her Illinois tennis career. The Davenport, Iowa native, went down fighting, but just didn't have enough to stay with top-ranked and No. 1-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones of the University of California today in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championship Tournament being held in Athens, Ga. Jones won the match, 6-1, 6-3, but Illinois Head Coach Sujay Lama was pleased with McGaffigan's efforts.
"It was an unlucky draw for Jenny," he said. "She did everything she could; she left it all on the court, but it wasn't enough. She tried offense, defense, volleying. Nothing seemed to work, even though I thought Jenny played well.
"Raquel is probably the best athlete I have ever seen in women's college tennis," Lama added. "She has a big serve and a great forehand. She can serve and volley. She put Jenny on the defensive all afternoon."
The 38th-ranked McGaffigan ends her season with a 30-10 singles mark; her final career singles record will go into the book at 105-58. She takes a 104-47 slate into tomrrow's doubles match with junior partner Cynthya Goulet against Catrina and Christian Thompson of Notre Dame, a duo they defeated twice earlier this season. If they win tomorrow, McGaffigan and Goulet, who are ranked No. 15 in the nation, would likely face the nation's No. 1 tandem in the 32-team tournament, Lauren Barnikow and Erin Burdette of national team champion Stanford, on Thursday.
Results of the NCAA Singles and Doubles Tournaments which wrap up May 29, can be followed on the world wide web at www.georgiadogs.com.