Members of the women's tennis team are competing in tournaments in both California and Iowa this weekend.
Four Gophers are competing in the Cal Nike Invitational, which runs Friday through Sunday in Berkeley, Calif., at the Hellman Tennis Complex and Channing Tennis Courts. The event features some of the top players in the country and Minnesota is represented by senior Alessandra Ferrazzi, junior Magdalena Wiecha, sophomore Alexa Palen and freshman Natallia Pintusava. Ferazzi, Palen and Pintusava are competing in the Gold singles draw, while Wiecha is playing in the Blue singles draw. Both brackets feature 32 players.
Pintusava made her college debut in grand fashion on Friday earning her first win against Jennifer Widjaja of Pacific. Widjaja was the No. 4 seed and ranked No. 60 in the preseason. The freshman then dropped USC's Cristala Andrews in straight sets before bowing out to Annie Goransson of California 62, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the main draw.
Wiecha is now 3-0 in her fall campaign. She won her first two matches on Friday and then defeated Jessica Agra of Santa Clara on Saturday to advance to the semifinals where she will play No. 1 seed Deborah Armstrong from Long Beach State.
Wiecha and Pintusava lost their first round doubles match in the No. 4 seed on Friday, but bounced back to win two matches are in the final of the Blue doubles consolation. They will play Arizona's Deborah Castany and Sarah Landsman at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Ferrazzi, who was an All-Big Ten selection and team MVP last season, is coming off a junior year where she led the Gophers with a 24-15 record. She lost to third-seeded and 54th-ranked Kelcy McKenna of Arizona State in the first round before winning her first-round consolation match. Ferrazzi fell to the No. 5 seed and 63rd-ranked Natasha Marks from Arizona 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-6) on Saturday.
Ferrazzi and Palen, who were 12-9 overall last year when paired together and 11-6 at No. 1 doubles, lost to the No. 1 seed and No. 1-ranked duo of Jana Juricova and Mari Andersson of California in the Gold doubles draw on Friday. Their doubles tournament ended on Saturday when the Gopher tandem could not complete their first round consolation match because of an injury.
The four players competing in the UNI Fall Invitational in Waterloo, Iowa, are seniors Mariana Spilca and Peta Forsyth and freshmen Elianna Kantar and Emilie Renault. All four recently competed in singles and doubles at the Sept. 10-12 Drake Fall Invitational and are playing both singles and doubles again this weekend.
Weather forced the tournament to be moved indoors to the Black Hawk Tennis Club today. Because of the move, the consolation draws on the doubles side will not be completed.
Spilca, who beat Bradley's Sarah Rodefeld in three sets on Friday to advance to the quarterfinals, fell to Northern Iowa's Chelsea Moore 6-1, 6-1 on Saturday.
Forsyth and Renault were both in the Silver flight. Forsyth won her first match on Friday and then beat Mahdi Besovic of Missouri 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals. She will play Northern Iowa's Krissy Lankelma on Sunday with a spot in the final on the line. Renault won her first-round match 6-0, 6-1 against Natalia Medina of South Dakota State, but fell to Christina Harazin of Iowa in the quarterfinals.
Kantar, playing in the Bronze draw, won her first match on Friday, but dropped her second to fall into the consolation draw. She beat South Dakota's Maddy Warder 6-1, 6-2 and faces North Dakota's Megan Sween in the consolation quarterfinals on Sunday.
Forsyth led the way with a 2-2 record in singles play at the Drake event. Kantar and Renault were both 2-1, while Spilca was 0-3. In doubles, Spilca and Renault were 2-1 and Forsyth and Kantar were 1-2.