Tabatha Knop, Santos, Kappel Fare Well at Air Force
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Northern
Colorado’s women’s tennis team continued its strong
play Friday, Oct. 3, at the Air Force Academy Invitational.
The Bears faced another strong field of teams, including Air Force, Colorado, Colorado State, Denver, Tulsa and Wyoming.
Northern Colorado senior Tabatha Knop had a strong showing, making the semifinals of the Falcon singles bracket before losing to Colorado’s Monica Milewski, 7-5, 6-1.
And then, along with senior partner Manuel Santos, Knop made the semifinals of the Silver doubles bracket before losing to the Buffalos’ duo of Franziska Jendrian and Esposito (8-1). Knop and Santos rebounded, though, and captured third place with a 9-7 victory against Wyoming’s Sarah Summerfield and Carly Van Hollen.
"Our fall season serves to gain as much match experience as we can and to prepare us for the spring,” Northern Colorado coach Brenda Vlasak said. “At the completion of our fall season, I feel like we have accomplished our goal. I also feel like we walked away from the USAFA tournament with plenty of great matches under our belt. We competed with many top schools and definitely held our own in various spots of the draws.
“Tabatha Knop competed the best I have seen, while in both singles and doubles, with her partner Manuela Santos,” Vlasak said. “She lost a tough semifinal match against CU’s Milewski, regained her confidence while playing Esposito, and had to retire at 6-4, 4-4 due to an injury for fourth place.”
Northern Colorado freshman Jill Kappel, after losing in the first round to Air Force’s Meghan Kiser (6-3, 6-1) made a strong comeback to win the Blue singles bracket consolation title with match victories over Wyoming’s Virginia Iwinski (6-4, 6-0) and Ronnie Spencer (6-0, 6-1).
Kappel then teamed up with fellow freshman Jenny Whateley in the Blue doubles bracket, where they advanced to the semifinals after defeating Colorado State’s Rui Xu and Katie Brown (8-3) and Denver’s Bhavani Tirumurti and Mikele Smith (8-6). Their streak ended against Tulsa’s Jie Zeng and Yulia Gavenko (8-0).
“Overall, I am proud of the way we competed this weekend and feel like we recovered our confidence throughout the tournament,” Vlasak said. “We need to continue working hard on believing in ourselves out on the court."
Tabatha Knop and Santos will now advance in singles and doubles to the Fall Regionals in Salt Lake City from October 15-18.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY INVITATIONAL RESULTS
def. C. Fluegge (CSU) 6-0, 6-4
def C. Monreal (AF) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
loss M. Milewski (CU) 7-5, 6-1
loss M. Esposito (CU) 4-6, 4-4 ret.
loss M. Esposito (CU) 6-1, 6-1
loss R. Berger (WYO) 6-4, 6-2
def. C. Fluegge (CSU) 5-7, 6-4, 10-4
loss T. Arneson (CSU) 6-1, 6-1
loss B. Tirumurti (DU) 6-0, 6-1
loss K. Eromin (AF) 6-3, 6-0
loss B. De Felice (WYO) 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
loss C. Belassi (CU) 6-1, 6-1
def. C. Van Hollen (WYO) 6-1, 6-2
loss M. Kiser (AF) 6-3, 6-1
def. V. Iwinski (WYO) 6-4, 6-0
def. R. Spencer (WYO) 6-0, 6-1
loss E. Rudico (AF) 6-3, 6-2
loss R. Xu (CSU) 1-6, 6-2, 10-6
loss J. Nelson (WYO) 6-0, 6-3
loss S. Cassman (AF) 6-2, 2-6, 10-5
def. Abayan/Rudico (AF) 8-4
def. Barriga/Marcinkowska (TUL) 8-5
loss Jendrian/Esposito (CU) 8-1
def. Summerfield/Van Hollen (WYO) 9-7
loss Summerfield/Van Hollen (WYO) 8-5
loss Monreal/Eromin (AF) 9-7
loss Abayan/Sarkis (AF) 8-2
def. Xu/Brown (CSU) 8-3
def. Tirumurti/Smith (DU) 8-6
loss Zeng/Gavenko (TUL) 8-0
loss De Felice/Iwinski (WYO) 8-4
Al-Jazzaf (CSU)/Xavier (UNC)
loss Smoke/Chermel (AF) 8-5
loss Young (AF)/Pheil (CU) 8-3
loss Johnson/Cassman (AF) 8-2