Sept. 14, 2012
The opening day of the Gopher Invitational ended with much success for the Maroon and Gold. Minnesota, who has six girls competing this weekend, dominated the first round of doubles play while the team advanced three girls into the singles quarterfinals and one into the semifinals.
"It was a great first day," said Gopher head coach Chuck Merzbacher. "We are working on stepping in more and being more aggressive. It was great to see that the girls were taking those steps forward."
Doubles started the day with just one round at 9:00 a.m. Paula Rincon Otero and Jessika Mozia represented the Gophers well in their collegiate debuts, defeating Ankita Bhatia and Daphne Freidrichs of Eastern Michigan, 8-2. In one of the longer matches of the day, sophomores Julia Courter and Aria Lambert endured to capture an 8-5 win from Air Force's Tiffany Tran and Mary Meyers. Both pairs move onto the Gold (A) Flight quarterfinals tomorrow.
Pauline Gilbert and Kelsey Frechette paired up for the Maroon (B) Flight and also came away with a doubles victory. The duo pushed for an 8-3 finish over Annie Mahoney and Sid Dirks (Gustavus Adolphus).
In the singles portion, Minnesota once again dominated the opening round of the Gold Flight with all three participants advancing forward. Rincon Otero rounded out her stellar debut with a crushing defeat of Gustavus' Laurel Krebsbach to put her into the quarterfinals. The newcomer did not drop a single set, winning 6-0, 6-0. She moved to face Morven McColloch where after a strong first set she fell in three (6-2, 5-7, 3-6).
Lambert advanced to the quarterfinals with a win over Northern Iowa's Chelsea Moore (6-0, 6-3) before dropping a match against Klara Supejova (3-6, 2-6). Courter flew past Krissy Lankelma (UNI) before she met Tran (Air Force) for the second time in one day, after facing her in doubles. This time, Tran found the upperhand, winning 6-4, 6-2.
Rincon Otero and Lambert will face each other tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., while Courter meets Maddy Soule (UWM) in the race for fifth place.
Mozia, Frechette, and Gilbert represented Minnesota in the Maroon (B) Singles Flight, however Mozia was the lone victor in the bunch. She defeated Christina Colarossi (UWM) 6-2, 6-3, in the first round and after a brilliant comeback defeated Natasha Rizvi (AFA) 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) in the quarterfinals to stay alive for the championship.
Frechette and Gilbert fell in the first round after hard-fought matches. Frechette climbed back from a deficit to win the second set but dropped the third for a final of 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 against Melissa Cecil of Air Force. Gilbert fell 6-2, 6-0 to Chelsea Bailey (UWM). The two girls met each other in the consolation round with Frechette coming out on top 6-1, 6-2. She will remain in contention for the consolation prize while Gilbert continues on towards 13th place.
The second day of the Gopher Invitational will begin tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Fans interested in attending must park in the designated East River Road Garage due to the football game at TCF Bank Stadium.