Women’s tennis begins new year in Michigan Invitational

The No. 16 Jackets women’s tennis team opened up their 2011 season in Ann Arbor, Michigan where they participated in the Michigan Invitational. The tournament included talented teams from Michigan, Washington and Tennessee. The team had mixed results throughout the weekend matches, but the Jackets did get a consistent and strong performance from junior Lynn Blau.
The first day of the Invitational the Jackets struggled in the singles portion of the tournament, earning a 3-5 record with wins by senior Sasha Krupina, junior Lynn Blau and freshman Rocio Lopez.
Blau lost the first set to Tennessee’s Kata Szekely 6-4 but managed to rally in the second set to squeak out a 7-6 win to tie the match at one-set apiece. Blau won the decisive third set by the same score she lost the first en route to her first win of the tournament.
The team fared much better in the doubles portion, winning three of four matches against No. 23 ranked Washington.
Lopez and fellow freshman Muriel Wacker led the Jackets with an 8-1 win. To their opponent’s credit, Taylor Fournier and teammate Vanja Radunovic probably did not have much familiarity with each other as doubles partners seeing as Fournier went to Michigan and Radunovic played for Washington.
The following day, Tech picked up the pace in singles against the Michigan Wolverines, earning a split of eight matches, with wins by Blau, juniors Viet Ha Ngo and Caroline Lilley and Wacker.
Ngo won a three-set thriller that started with a 7-6 first set win, and Blau won her second three set match in as many days when she defeated Mimi Nguyen, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3.
The Jackets also split the doubles matches against the No. 13 team from the Tennessee Volunteers. Each team had a narrow victory and a lopsided loss, as both teams had identical 8-6 and 8-1 wins.
The final day of the tournament proved to be the Jacket’s best in singles. Tech racked up a record of 4-3 against Washington, including an impressive three match win streak to close out the singles portion of the tournament.
Lilley, Wacker and sophomore Elizabeth Kilborn, playing as Tech’s three lowest seeds, proved to be the difference in the match as each player dominated their opponent in straight sets.
The doubles teams pulled to another split on the final day, going 2-2 against the host, the Michigan Wolverines. However, each match was highly contested, and the team of Ngo and junior Jillian O’Neil fell by the score of 9-8 (6).
Blau had a stellar tournament for Tech, finishing with three singles wins and no losses. Her performance in the Invitational contributed to her being named the ACC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week.
Blau and the rest of the Jackets will look to improve on their record this Sunday, January 23 in Atlanta against No. 9 Northwestern.

Comments are closed.