HAMDEN, Conn. – The UConn women’s tennis team got their fall season off to a fast start this weekend at the annual Quinnipiac Invitational, dominating a pair of singles flights while five different players advanced into the semifinals of their respective flights.
The Huskies took the “A” and “C” singles flights with a pair of players in each bracket advancing into the finals. The Huskies chose not to contest the championship match in either flight.
“I was extremely pleased with the team’s play in singles this weekend,” stated head coach Glenn Marshall. “We had an outstanding record of 16-4, and clinched two of the four singles flight championships. This should give us some confidence for our upcoming match with Quinnipiac on Thursday.”
Junior Srna Stosljevic (Novi Sad, Serbia) and sophomore Emma Alderman (Hingham, Mass.), UConn’s top-two singles players last season started the 2014 campaign in impressive fashion by dominating the “A” singles flight.
Stosljevic was leading her quarterfinal match with Navy’s Sam Droop, 6-2 and 2-0 before Droop retired. She won a convincing 6-4, 6-0 semifinal match with Quinnipiac’s Sophia Dzulynsky to advance into the flight title match. Alderman won three matches on her way to the finals starting with a 6-1 and 6-0 victory over Sacred Heart’s Lindsey Post. Alderman beat QU’s Jacqueline Raynor, 6-1, 7-5 (5) and Providence’s Nicole Cyterski, 6-1 and 6-1 to get to the final.
In the “C” flight, sophomore Shea Flanagan (Overland Park, Kan.) and freshman Zaina Zaki (West Chester, Pa.) battle their way to the finals. Flanagan opened her tournament with a 6-4 and 6-0 victory over Julian Mok over Army. Next up for Flanagan was a 6-1 and 6-3 win over Amanda Pitocco of Providence and then a 6-4 and 6-3 victory over Seton Hall’s Julia Keenan in the semifinals.
Zaki, playing in her first collegiate tournament, notched three singles victories of her own to advance into the finals. She posted a 6-4, 6-3 win over Seton Hall senior Anna Guryanova in her first collegiate match. She battled to a 6-1 and 7-5 win over Mikaela Carlson from Navy in the quarter and then beat Hartford’s Katherine Long, 6-2 and 6-2 in the semifinal.
Also making her collegiate debut for the Huskies was freshman Summer Walker (Conyers, Ga.) who won a pair of matches to get to the semifinals of the “B” singles flight. Walker opener her UConn career with a three set victory over Providence’s Olivia Hogan, 6-3, 3-6, 10-4. Walker posted a 6-2, 6-0 win over Quinnipiac’s Sydney Young in the quarters before falling to Seton Hall’s Marisa Quevedo, 6-4, 6-3.
Senior Natalie Robson (Copley, Ohio) and sophomore Jenise Vargas (Pasadena, Calif.) each picked-up a singles victory in the “D” flight. Robson won her first round match-up with Quinnipiac’s Daniella Reyes, 6-1 and 6-1. Vargas defeated Hartford’s Gianna Sabino, 6-0 and 6-0 in her first match of the tournament.
In doubles play, the duo of Flanagan and Zaki posted a pair of victories to advance to the semifinals of the “B” flight. The posted a dominate 8-0 win over Hartford’s Felicia DeMarco and Lee. They followed that with an 8-2 win over the team of Hogan and Katherine DeNucci before falling in the semi-finals.
The Huskies will play their first dual match of the season when they play host to the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Thursday, September 18th on the UConn Tennis Courts.