OSU's McNeil Advances
The Daily Oklahoman
Friday, June 24, 1983
On Monday there were 32 players from 14 states and seven foreign countries in the main draw of the United States Tennis Association women's tournament at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
When the singles semifinals get under way today, there will not be as many regions represented.
Two women from Houston, including Oklahoma State's Lori McNeil, and two more from California, a state whose collegiate tennis is considered the best in the country, have survived the week-long event and will play at 5 p.m. for a chance at a first-place prize of $1,400, which none can accept.
McNeil will meet Ann Hulbert, also of Houston, in one match. In the California semifinal, Cynthia MacGregor, born in Torrance but living now in Palos Verdes Estates, will play Cecilia Fernandez, a native of Los Angeles.
All are amateurs and in college. McNeil will be a senior at Oklahoma State. Hulbert enters SMU this fall as a freshman. Fernandez goes to USC and MacGregor is at San Diego State.
McNeil and partner Kyle Coleman advanced to the doubles semifinals, which will follow the singles matches, with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Maeve Quinlan and Karen Seguso. McNeil and Coleman will play Caryn Copeland and Linda Gates, who beat Karen Dewis and MacGregor 6-3, 6-2 today. In the other doubles semifinal, Jane Forman and Claudia Hernandez, the team that eliminated Mary Norwood and Hulbert, 6-4, 6-3, Thursday, will play Masako Yanagi and Kay Miyagi. Yanagi and Miyagi beat Kristie Reynolds and Jill Patterson, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
McNeil defeated Kathrin Keil of Albuquerque, N.M., Thursday, 6-3, 6-3, in a quarterfinal match while Hulbert went through two tiebreakers to defeat Jan Blackstad, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6. In the other two quarterfinal matches, Fernandez beat Forman, 7-5, 6-4, and MacGregor beat 15-year-old Melissa Brown, 7-5, 6-2.
McNeil has swept through her three singles matches in straight sets, losing only 12 games. On Thursday, she overpowered Keil, who is coming back from a year of inactivity, with a strong serve and volley game.
Keil made numerous unforced errors, mostly off her forehand, and the match was never close. They went to deuce only twice, and Keil had trouble scoring points against McNeil's serve. On five occasions when McNeil held serve, Keil failed to score a point.
"She (Keil) has a good backhand down the line,'' said McNeil, "but she never seemed to get in the groove with her strokes.''
This is Keil's first tournament in some time. She was out eight months last year with a bout of mononucleosis that she could not shake.
"I played terrible,'' said Keil. "I thought Lori played well, but I'm just not match tough.''
McNeil, who is three years older than Hulbert, vaguely remembers seeing her play in qualifying rounds for a Virginia Slims and Avon tournament years ago in Houston.
"I've never heard of some of these players,'' she said. "But the field seems pretty balanced to me.''
Copeland and McNeil played the last stop on this satellite circuit in doubles and were eliminated in the quarterfinals. At the first stop, (both were in New Jersey), McNeil won the doubles with Gigi Fernandez, a top-ranked player out of Puerto Rico.