After aiding in a storybook ending against Dartmouth to claim Harvard's 18th Ivy League title, senior Beier Ko is returning to the court as the lone representitive of the Ivy League at the 2009 NCAA Women's Tennis Singles Championship, hosted by Texas A&M at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. She will match up against No. 46 Nadia Abdala of Arizona State. This is Ko's third trip to NCAAs.
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Crimson loyalists can follow the action at aggieathletics.com or on ESPNU. To view live stats and video from the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, click here.
What To Know About Ko
During the 2008-09 season, Ko was 15-8 in singles play. She opened her season at the William & Mary Invitational where she advanced to the finals to meet preseason No. 1 Aurelija Miseviciute, who went on to win the match, 6-0, 6-1. Miseviciute is the No. 3 seed in this year's tournament.
Ko also appeared at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championship, where she went 2-2. She had a walkover loss to Maria Sanchez of Southern Cal, who is also in this year's bracket.
She started the spring season 4-0, before meeting the toughest of her regular season opponents in late February, and early March and got on track in the Ivy League season, going a perfect 5-0 and claiming Unanimous Ivy League Player of Year and first-team All-Ivy accolades in singles and doubles.
Most recently, Ko was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association East Region Senior Player of the Year. She is the second member of the Crimson to receive that distinction, the other being Courtney Bergman '05.
Ko's opponent in the first round of 64 will be Arizona State's Nadia Abdala. Abdala is currently ranked 46th by ITA and has posted an 18-6 record on the season. Six of her 18 wins have come against ranked opponents. Abdala received second-team All-Pacific 10 honors this year.
In the Campbell's ITA DI Women's Singles Rankings, Ko has been ranked as high as 52nd in the country, after starting the season at 64th in the preseason poll. She is currently No. 99 as the April 27 poll.
This spring when ranked higher than her opponent, Ko is 1-2. Her lone win was as the 90th ranked player against Yale's Janet Kim, then No. 101 (April 17). When she is ranked lower than her opponent, Ko is 1-0, defeating Princeton's Laura McHale ranked 99th to Ko's No. 109 (April 10).
Third Time's A Charm
Beier Ko is the third individual in Harvard history to be a three-time qualifier for the NCAA singles championship. The last person to accomplish the feat was Courtney Bergman '05, qualifying from 2002-05. She subsequently is also the only woman in Ivy League women's tennis history to be a four-time qualifier. Elizabeth Evans '85 was the other three-time participant.
Ko and the Pac-10
The native of Boca Raton, Fla., is 1-1 lifetime against foes from the Pac-10 conference. As a sophomore at the Harvard Invitational (Nov. 5, 2006), Ko defeated Danielle Steinberg of Arizona in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. Her only loss to a Pacific-10 opponent was a walkover earlier in the year at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championship against Maria Sanchez of USC. Ko is 1-0 all-time against Pac-10 schools within the state of Arizona.
The New Millennium Home
Since the beginning of the new millennium Harvard has sent nine individuals to compete in the singles portion of the NCAA tournament, including a streak of eight consecutive years (2002-present).
A Thing Of The Past
In her NCAA tournament career, Ko is 0-2. As a sophomore, she played Tatsiana Uvarova of Virginia Commonwealth, who at the time was ranked 29th in the country, dropping her match 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Last season, Ko dueled Fani Chifchevia of Auburn and lost 6-3, 7-5. Chifchevia advanced all the way to semifinals of the tournament, before falling to the eventual champion, Georgia Tech's Amanda McDowell.
Third Times A Charm: Ko Heads Back to NCAA's