HAMDEN, Conn. – The UConn women’s tennis team opened the fall season over the weekend at the Quinnipiac Invitational. The Huskies turned in a strong opening performance, claiming three singles titles and a doubles title while posting a 21-4 record in singles play.
“This was a great season opening tournament for the team,” stated head coach Glenn Marshall. “Summer Walker and Jacque Lazaro led the way with two titles each. They paired up as a doubles team to win the B flight, and each won their respective singles flights. Lizzy Pletnyeva won the A flight singles bracket, with a thrilling three set victory.”
Senior Yelyzaveta Pletnyeva (Vinnitsa, Ukraine) rang up four-straight wins on the way to claiming the A Flight singles title. She beat Diana Prinos of Fairfield, 6-0 and 6-3 to open her tournament and advanced to the semifinal with a 7-6 (1), 6-2 win over Rhode Island’s Rachel Smilansky. Pletnyeva beat Army’s Melanie Allen, 6-4 and 6-1, to get to the finals and won the title with a three-set win. She beat URI’s Mihaela Codreanu, 7-5 in the first set but dropped the second, 6-0. She rebounded to win the tie-break third, 10-4.
Senior Summer Walker (Conyers, Ga.) and newcomer, sophomore Cassie Chung (Vancouver, British Columbia) both won three-matches to advance to the finals of the B Flight to share the title. Walker won two titles on the weekend, also taking home the B Doubles Flight.
Walker won her opening match with Amy Zammarieh of host Quinnipiac, 6-2 and 6-3. She then beat Emily Lombardi of Fairfield, 6-2, 6-1, and earned her spot in the finals with a three-set comeback win over Estelle Wong of Fordham, falling 6-4 in the first only to answer with a 6-3, 10-3 victory.
Chung, playing in her first match for the Huskies, started her tournament with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Sacred Heart’s Kiera Tobia. She followed that with a 6-0, 6-3 win over QU’s Layla Rodriguez. Chung got to the finals with a three-set win as well, beating Ana Joyner of Army. Chung dropped the first set 6-4, but answered with a 6-1 and 10-4 win to advance.
Junior Jacqueline Lazaro (Largo, Fla.) also claimed a pair of titles on the weekend, picking up the C Flight title and won the doubles title with Walker. In singles play, Lazaro won four-straight starting with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Providence’s Sera Satkowski. She got to the semi’s with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Fordam’s Alexis Zobeideh and advanced to the final by beating QU’s Scarlett Blydenburgh, 6-2 and 7-5. Lazaro won the title thanks to an impressive 6-1, 6-0 win over Fordham’s Gianna Insogna.
In the B Doubles Flight, Lazaro and Walker won four matches to take the title. The duo opened by beating Quinnipiac’s Nash and Zammarieh, 6-3. They posted a 6-2 win over Sacred Heart’s Crivei and Santariso and advanced to the finals with a 6-3 win over URI’s Haber and Legler. The finished off their title run with a 6-1 win over Boubel and Inchauste of Army in the finals.
In the D Singles Flight, junior Gillian Perrotta (Scarsdale, N.Y.) made a run to the finals but was forced to retire in the title match. Perrotta picked up wins over Arianna Spirtos of Army, 6-1, 6-3, Emily Collins of Providence, 6-1, 6-0, and Courtney Nash of Quinnipiac, 6-4, 6-0.
“Overall, the entire team had a 21-4 singles record. I was extremely impressed with our singles play this weekend. We had many challenging matches, and I thought we played really tough.”
The Huskies are back in action this weekend at the Harvard Fall Classic.