The Tech women’s tennis team returned to action this past weekend at the Freeman Memorial Tennis Tournament on the campus of UNLV. The Jackets started the season ranked No. 1 after returning six players from last year’s national championship team. Four players on Tech’s team participated in this tournament, with Amanda McDowell and Kristi Miller earning the top two seeds, respectively. Every team that participated in the tournament was ranked, and the field featured four of the top five teams in the nation.
Tech had a fast start on day one of the activities, with all four participating members victorious in the first round. Miller defeated Wendy Pilecka of Arizona State, 6-2, 6-1. McDowell beat UCLA’s Alex McGoodwin in straight sets as well, 7-6, 6-1. Fourth seed Whitney McCray beat Laila Abdala in three sets, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1. Kirsten Flower upset fifth seed Yasmin Schnack 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Following the opening round, the Jackets lost three of their four matches in the round of 16. Only McCray beat her opponent, Sarah Fansler of USC, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. McDowell lost to Katrina Tsang of UNC, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. Amanda Fink of USC beat Flower in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. Miller also lost in straight sets to Csilla Borsanyi of Florida, 6-3, 6-4.
Doubles had mixed results as well. McDowell and McCray lost their match to Nguyen and Deason of Stanford, 8-5. The second seed, Miller and Flower, won their doubles match, 8-1.
The second day started as bad as the first day ended. McCray lost her quarterfinal match to Whitney Deason of Stanford, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. Miller and Flower also lost in the quarterfinals of the doubles bracket to Smith and Tsang of UNC, 8-5.
McDowell and McCray started their second day in the doubles consolation bracket. They beat Alexander and Borsanyi of Florida in a walkover. Their second match pitted them against the UNLV’s own team of Williams and Maskaljun, 8-5. The singles matches in the consolation bracket matched Miller up against ASU’s Abdalla. Miller won in three sets, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. McDowell won 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 over Florida’s Megan Alexaner. Flower beat University of Oregon’s Celine Rolly, 7-5, 6-0.
The final day saw just one Tech loss. McDowell and McCray lost to Lumpkin and Wetmore of UCLA, 8-1. Miller defeated ASU’s Lauren Megale, 7-5, 6-2. McDowell led Elena Gantcheva of UNLV 6-3, 4-1 before Gantcheva returned. Flower beat Elizabeth Lumpkin of UCLA 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (11-9). Finally, McCray won her added singles match 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, over UNC’s Laura Reichart.
In Tech’s final match of the tournament, Miller and flower beat Durkin and Barte of Stanford 8-1.
Tech will play three duel matches during the next two weeks before returning to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Wisconsin.