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May 4, 2011

Penn's Hsu Receives Automatic Bid to the 2011 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships

Portions courtesy of the NCAA and Penn Athletic Communications

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Subcommittee selected Penn freshman Connie Hsu as one of the 64 singles players that will compete in the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships.

The committee also named Harvard junior Holly Cao, a two-time, first-team All-Ivy selection, as an alternate in the singles bracket. Individual draws for the tournament have not yet been released.

The singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 25-30 at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif., following the conclusion of the team championship which runs May 20-24. All singles matches shall be the best of three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six games all will be used for all matches.

Hsu was one of 15 players nationwide to earn automatic bids into the tournament based on conference play. Automatic qualification into the Division I singles championships is awarded to any conference with one or more eligible singles players ranked in the ITA top 125 for eligible/entered singles players. For conferences with more than one singles player within the ITA top 125 eligible/entered singles players, the subcommittee will apply the NCAA selection criteria to determine which student-athlete is the automatic qualifier from those conferences. All singles players must have a record of a minimum of 13 completed singles matches in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection.

During her freshman campaign at Penn, Hsu has compiled 43 victories between the fall and spring. She was a perfect 20-0 during the spring campaign, including a 7-0 victory in the Ivy League. This perfect mark inside the Ivies earned her both Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Year honors.

Ranked as high as 12th in singles nationwide this spring, Hsu is currently ranked 29th heading into the NCAA Championships. Hsu's only two defeats this season have come in three-set matches this past fall. The Quaker's freshman only losses came to nationally-ranked Michaela Kissell of Marshall and current No. 8 Denise Mureson of Michigan in a third-set tiebreak. That loss to Mureson from Michigan came after Hsu advanced to the Round of 16 in the fall during the Indoor Championships.

In her 43 wins this season, Hsu has only had to go to a third set twice. 19 of her 20 victories this spring have come in straight set fashion. Her first match of the spring season took even less time as her opponent retired with an injury, down 5-0 in the first set.

Hsu is the first women's tennis player to qualify for the NCAA Singles Championships since the 2003 season when Alice Pirsu capped off her junior season with her second All-American honor after advancing to the quarterfinals.