ANNAPOLIS, Md. – UConn juniors Jacqueline Lazaro (Largo, Fla.) and Gillian Perrotta (Scarsdale, N.Y.) won the C Flight and D Flight Singles titles to lead the Huskies to a big weekend at the Navy Blue & Gold Invitational. UConn finished the weekend 19-7 as a team in singles play and senior Yelyzaveta Pletnyeva (Vinnitsa, Ukraine) advanced to the finals of the A Singles Flight as well.
“This was a great weekend for the team. We had the opportunity to play against many teams from outside our region, and we did extremely well,” stated head coach Glenn Marshall. “Jacqueline Lazaro and Gill Perrotta were champions of the C and D flight singles draws, and Lizzy Pletnyeva was a runner up in the A flight singles draw.”
“Overall, the team went 19-7 in singles play this weekend and I am really pleased with the team’s effort this weekend. They all fought very hard and worked through some very tough matches out there.”
In the C Singles Flight, Lazaro opened her run with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Victoria Kogan from George Washington. She beat Isabella Da Silva from Rutgers, 6-2 and 6-2, and won a three-set battle in the semifinals with Navy’s Kaylah Hodge. The two split the first two sets, Lazaro winning the first 6-4, and dropping the second 6-3. She answered in the third with a 10-6 win to reach the flight finals. In Sunday’s title match, Lazaro had a comeback three-set victory over Jacqueline Cochrane from Rutgers to win the trophy. After falling 6-3 in the opening set, she battled her way to 7-5 and 10-7 wins to win her fourth career singles title and her second this fall.
Perrotta won her first match of the D Singles Flight over Morgan State’s Dana Santiago, 6-0 and 6-1, to start her march to Sunday’s title match. She followed with a three-set win over George Mason’s Rachel Lee. After dropping the first set 6-4, she rebounded and battled to a 6-4 and 10-8 victory. In the semi’s, Perrotta beat Navy’s Catalina Rico, 6-3 and 6-2. The junior also needed three-sets to claim the D Flight championship, also posting a comeback victory. Perrotta dropped the first set to Navy’s Aimee Dervishian, 6-4. She answered the bell with a 7-5, 10-2 win to win the title, her first career singles championship.
Pletnyeva battled her way to the A Singles Flight title match with three-straight wins, starting with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Towson’s Nicole Shakhnazarova. She followed with consecutive wins over Navy, beating Amanda Keller, 6-0 and 7-6 (3) and Emily Louie-Meadors, 6-1 and 6-0 in the semifinal. In the final, Pletnyeva lost a hard fought three-set battle with Maryland’s Kate Yemelyanenka. The senior won the opening set, 7-6 (4) but came up short, 6-1 and 10-7.
UConn junior Jacquelyn Fitz-Randolph (Tampa, Fla.) reached the semifinals of the A Singles Flight with a pair of wins. She beat Marie Louise-Decamps of GWU, 7-6 (6) and 6-3 and Mingxiu Du of Rutgers, 6-0 and 7-6 (4). Her run ended there with a three-set loss to Yemelyanenka, 3-6, 6-4 and 10-1.
Freshman Elizabeth Kozyi (Boca Raton, Fla.) won three matches in the D Singles Flight consolation bracket. Kozyi posted an 8-2 win over Kat Rosenberger of Rutgers and an 8-2 win over Asmara Faluke of Morgan State. She closed out her weekend with an 8-4 win over Howard's Kindha Nasef.
In doubles action, the team of Pletnyeva and sophomore Cassie Chung (Vancouver, B.C.) won their opening match, 6-3, over Howard’s Kindha Nasef and Yassmine Khriri in the A Flight. Junior Jacquelyn Fitz-Randolph (Tampa, Fla.) and Perrotta won their opening match in the B Flight over Melody Taal and Michal Matson of Seton Hall, 6-1.
In doubles consolation play, UConn got a pair of wins as well with senior Summer Walker (Conyers, Ga.) and Lazaro beating Binghamton’s Maya Haykai and Olga Ostrovetsky, 6-2. Zaki and Kozyi won over Da Silva and Rosenberger of Rutgers, 6-4.
The Huskies will play their final dual match of the fall season this Wednesday, October 11 at UMass.