UNLV senior Aiwen Zhu opens play in the NCAA women’s tennis singles championship against Oklahoma junior Oleksandra Korashvili at approximately 2 p.m. PT Monday in Orlando, Florida.
Zhu (29-7), ranked 105th nationally, is the fourth Rebels women’s tennis player to earn consecutive NCAA singles berths by securing the league’s automatic bid to the field of 64 as the Mountain West’s highest-ranked player, joining Lucia Batta (2012 and 2013), Elena Gantcheva (2005 and 2006) and Marianne Vallin (1994 to 1997).
With 102 collegiate wins, Zhu needs one more to tie for fifth in program history with Aleksandra Josifoska (2011 to 2014). A native of Wuxi, China, Zhu is a four-time ITA regional honoree, two-time league player of the year and eight-time all-league selection.
Zhu won her first-round match in the NCAA tournament last season before falling to 14th-ranked Paige Hourigan of Georgia Tech in the second round, ending one set short of attaining All-America status.