Tennis Opens at Air Force Academy Invitational

  • By Jonathan Hevron
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  • September 26, 2013 03:28 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University tennis team opens its 2013 fall season at the United States Air Force Academy Invitational in Air Force Academy, Colo., from Sept. 27 through Sept. 29.

“In the fall semester we take the approach of building and getting better,” says first-year coach Miha Lisac. “Personally, I am not as concerned with what tournaments we are in or who we are competing against, but how we are competing and integrating what we have learned into our play.”

West Virginia will have a full slate of competition each of the three days, facing off against host Air Force, Buffalo, Colorado State, New Mexico, Northern Colorado and Wyoming.

Opening day of singles play will feature junior Ikttesh Chahal against Air Force’s Natasha Rizvi and sophomore Hailey Barrett against Steph Catlin of Northern Colorado in flight “alpha”.

Sophomores Irinka Toidze and Vivian Tsui will compete in flight “bravo” against Christa Gecheva of Wyoming and Tasha Hueffner of Air Force, respectively.

Flight “charlie” of singles play features freshman Kaja Mrgole against Air Force’s Chloe Forlini and freshman Oana Manole against New Mexico’s Rachana Bhat.

In the doubles tournament, Barrett and Chahal will compete in flight “alpha”, along with the pairing of Mrgole and Toidze.

Tsui and Manole are slated to compete in flight “bravo” of the doubles bracket.

The Mountaineers return four players from the 2012 season. Barrett leads the way for WVU, coming off seven wins in both singles and doubles play. Chahal is the lone upperclassman on the squad. She tallied six wins in singles and seven wins as Barrett’s partner in doubles.

Manole and Mrgole will make their debuts as Mountaineers at the USAFA Invitational.

Manole comes to Morgantown from Andover, United Kingdom, the winner of five singles tournaments, including the 2011 Windsor Junior Open.

Mrgole was ranked No. 17 in the Slovenian Open division during her prep career, and was a semifinalist in the girl’s national indoors championship.

Play on Friday, Sept. 27, will begin at 11 a.m. ET. A recap of the day’s events will be available following each day of competition on WVUsports.com.