Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, May 20, 2006
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That Schmidt is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

Senior Amy Schmidt of the Muhlenberg women’s tennis team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championship by winning two matches on the first day of the tournament.

Schmidt defeated Tatiana Steinberg of Redlands, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round, then upset second-seeded NCAA championship banner Laura Steinmetz of Trinity (Texas), 7-5, 6-2, in the Round of 16. By winning the first match, Schmidt assured herself of All-America honors for the second straight year. Last season she won in the first round before falling to the eventual national champion.

When the tournament resumes Monday (it was moved from Sunday for religious reasons), Schmidt will face a familiar foe in unseeded Katie Tabb of Washington & Lee, who advanced to the quarters by knocking off the sixth seed. The two met earlier this season, with Schmidt pulling out a 6-4, 7-5 victory in her closest match to date.

In Steinberg, the seventh-ranked player in the West Region, Schmidt faced an opponent who like herself is a four-time first-team all-conference selection. “She hit a nice ball; her forehand especially was very powerful,” Schmidt said. “So I basically kept it to her backhand.”

The players traded several service breaks in the first set, with Schmidt winning, 6-4. In the second Amy Schmidt set, however, Schmidt fell into a 4-1 hole.

“At first she seemed a little rattled when I came to the net, but then she started making great passing shots,” remarked Schmidt. “So I decided to stay back and rally a little bit more.”

The approach worked, as Schmidt won the last five games to claim the match.

Schmidt, who last year drew the top seed in the second round, said she didn’t know Steinmetz was the second seed until after the match. The two played a back-and-forth first set and were on serve before Schmidt broke Steinmetz, the top-ranked player in the West Region, to win, 7-5. Schmidt then pulled away in the second set.

“She was a real good volleyer and came up to the net a lot,” said Schmidt of her sophomore opponent. “A lot of those times I tried to lob it over her head, and that seemed to work.”

Next up for Schmidt, ranked third in the Atlantic South Region, is the ITA Atlantic South Rookie of the Year in Tabb, a freshman who is seventh in the region. “It was kind of weird match because it was very windy,” recalled Schmidt of the March 3 meeting. “She’s a good player, so we’ll see what happens.”

Click on the banner for the official tournament site.

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Last updated May 20, 2006