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Phebus On Track To Defend NCAA Women’s Single Title

May 23, 1996

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ UCLA’s Keri Phebus opened defense of her NCAA Division I women’s singles title by beating Meredith Chiles of Vanderbilt 6-2, 6-2 Wednesday.

The second-seeded Phebus, a senior from Newport Beach, Calif., is attempting to become the first repeat winner in singles since Florida’s Lisa Raymond won her second NCAA title in 1993. Phebus is also trying to become only the second woman to win two NCAA doubles titles. Stanford’s Linda Gates won in 1984 and 1985.

The fourth-seeded team of Phebus and Paige Yaroshuk defeated Florida State’s Elke Juul and Lori Sowell 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of doubles competition.

The top eight singles seeds all advanced to Thursday’s second round.

Top-seeded Kylie Hunt of Kansas overcame a shaky start to beat Alabama-Birmingham’s Zofia Csapo 5-7, 6-1, 6-0.

Third-seeded Vicky Maes of Arizona beat South Alabama’s Cindy Summers 6-3, 6-4 and fourth-seeded Jill Craybas of Florida beat Wake Forest’s Patty Murren 6-0, 6-0.

Florida, which secured the school’s second national team championship with a 5-2 win over Stanford on Tuesday, showed no sign of letting up Wednesday.

Led by Craybas, four of Florida’s five singles entrants advanced: seventh-seeded Dawn Buth defeated Pepperdine’s Kathrin Denn 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 6-4; Divya Merchant beat Wake Forest’s Terry Ann Zawacki 6-3, 6-2, and Bonnie Bleecker upset ninth-ranked Lauren Nikolaus of William & Mary 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3).

Buth, who won two key three-set matches in the team competition, has now won 15 of 19 three-set matches overall.

Florida’s lone singles loss belonged to Lisa Pugliese, who fell to Stanford’s Julie Scott 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.

Sowell eliminated 11th-ranked Farley Taylor of Texas 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) and Mississippi’s Agnes Muzamel beat UNLV’s Marianne Valin 6-3, 7-5.

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