Sept. 29, 2012
After a successful first outing at the Gopher Invitational, the women’s tennis team has set their sights on another ITA sanctioned tournament. Four Gophers have traveled to the west coast to represent Minnesota in Berkeley, Calif. this weekend at the Cal Nike Invitational. Teams include host Cal, Fresno State, Pacific, UC Davis, BYU, Arizona State, Nevada, Santa Clara, Saint Mary’s, San Jose State, Sacramento State, and San Francisco.
Junior Natallia Pintusava, who earned a No. 93 ranking in the ITA preseason poll, leads senior Doron Muravnik, junior Yuliana Umanets, and sophomore Tereza Brichacova, against a talented group of players from schools across the country.
Doubles play got started this morning with Pintusava and Umanets coming together in the Gold Flight. The duo were tabbed the No. 3 seed in the bracket but fell, 8-3, in the first round to Audrey Leitz and Jenny Jullien (Saint Mary’s). Muravnik and Brichacova teamed up in the Blue Flight to defeat Danielle Flores and Jade Frampton (Saint Mary’s), 9-7. The pair will start the day tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. against Brooke Irish and Marina Nickolic of San Francisco.
In individual competition, two Gophers, Brichacova and Umanets remained undefeated for the day. Brichacova started it right with a 6-2, 6-0 rout of USF’s Melind Akerbrandt before notching a win over Pacific’s Gergana Boncheva (6-4, 7-8 (4)). Umanets battled Saskia Angerer (SAC) to a 6-1, 6-3 finish in the first round and took Saint Mary’s Liz Searl by scores of 6-1, 7-6 (5).
Muravnik and dropped both of her singles matches after tough battles with both opponents. First she fell to Lynn Chi 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, before later losing to Stephanie Vlad (Arizona State) 6-3, 6-0. After being pegged as the No. 7 individual seed, Pintusava also lost her opening match but was able to bounce back to win the first round of consolation play, prevailing in a bout against Katharina Knoebi (7-6 (3), 7-5).
Play will resume Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. Doubles play with start the day followed by rounds of singles. To keep updated with results and draws, visit the Cal Nike Invitational website.