Tennis Finishes Opening Day of USAFA Invitational


By Jonathan Hevron for WVUsports.com
September 27, 2013 07:59 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In the opening day of the United States Air Force Academy Invitational, West Virginia University tennis earned opening round wins in several doubles and singles matches.

“We did some things that I liked, and some other things that we need to improve on,” says coach Miha Lisac. “Tomorrow we need to go out and take what we learned today and implement it into our play tomorrow.”

In flight “alpha” doubles, the Mountaineers’ top-pair from last season, sophomore Hailey Barrett and junior Ikttesh Chahal, started the day with an 8-4 victory over the New Mexico duo of Susan Baklini and Lizette Blankers. Barrett and Chahal moved to 2-0 on the season with a round two victory over Veronica Popovici and Dorottya Jones of Wyoming, 8-6.

Freshman Kaja Mrgole and sophomore Irinka Toidze fell to Air Force’s Tiffany Tran and Jocelle Rudico, 8-7 (4), in the first round, and then dropped round two’s matchup against Colorado State’s Mollie Cooper and Lauren Pick, 8-4.

In flight “bravo” doubles, sophomore Vivian Tsui and freshman Oana Manole had a first round bye, and then came out in round two with a convincing 8-1 victory over Air Force’s Chloe Forlini and Lily Forlini.

In the singles bracket, Barrett continued her momentum from doubles and won her opening match against Northern Colorado’s Steph Catlin in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. Chahal dropped her first round match in flight “alpha”, 6-2, 6-1, to Natasha Rizvi of Air Force.

Tsui was victorious in the opening match in flight “bravo”, moving past Air Force’s Tasha Hueffner, 6-2, 6-1. Toidze battled through two sets before retiring in the third.

Mrgole won her first singles match as a Mountaineer in fight “charlie”, defeating Chloe Forlini in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1. Manole fell to New Mexico’s Rachana Chat, 6-3, 7-6 (6).

“This was a good starting point, and we will keep growing on the court and as a team,” Lisac says.

Doubles play continues tomorrow, Sept. 28, at 11 a.m. ET. In flight “alpha”, Barrett and Chahal open the third round against Air Force’s Rizvi and Magday. The tandem of Mrgole and Toidze will battle Northern Colorado’s Adriana Nieto and Hilary Walters-West, while Tsui and Manole open day two against New Mexico’s Meredith Hopson and Rachana Bhat.

In the singles bracket, Barrett meets Tran of Air Force, Chahal matches up against Tanvi Shah of Buffalo, Toidze against Northern Colorado’s Beth Coton, Tsui meets with Laura Fernandez of Buffalo, Mrgole draws Maddie Buxton of Colorado State and Manole faces off with Kwynn Ecton of Colorado State.



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