September 23, 2012

Women's Tennis freshmen shine in fall opener

By HEATHER KENNEDY
UNCBears.com

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Northern Colorado Women's Tennis team put out a statement in their first tournament of the fall with a pair of freshmen winning all three singles matches and the entire team going 21-11 throughout singles and doubles, including sweeping the second round of singles.

"We had a very successful weekend and it was very nice to begin the fall season with this event," Head Coach Brenda Vlasak said. "It wasn't about the wins and the losses for us, it was about working on things within our matches. CSU hosted some good teams and all our girls had tough competition."

Freshman Hilary Walters-West (Simi Valley, Calif.) posted a perfect 6-0 record, going 3-0 in singles and doubles while partnered with sophomore Chrissie Hoolahan (Richmond, Surrey, England).

Walters-West dropped just five games in three singles matches, defeating Ivana Zecevic from Tarleton State in her collegiate opener, 6-1, 6-1, Rachel McLaughlin from Colorado Mesa 6-1, 6-1 and host Colorado State's Lauren Pick, 6-0, 6-1.

She and Hoolahan were also fairly dominant in doubles action, defeating Colorado Mesa's Kristen Wykert and Skyler Nelson, 8-3, Melanie Barnes and Marina Rull from Tarleton State, 8-3 and Katie Howe and Gia Montoya from Colorado State-Pueblo, 8-4.

"I was especially pleased with freshman Hilary Walters who went undefeated in singles and doubles," Vlasak said. "She showed a ton of heart and determination on the court."

Fellow freshman Claire Uhle (Blue Bell, Pa.) also posted an undefeated record in singles play over the weekend, dropping just six games throughout. She opened the weekend with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Pueblo's Montoya, then posted an identical 6-0, 6-1 win over Katie Metz from Colorado Mesa. In her final singles match, she defeated Tarleton's State Silvia Nieva 6-4, 6-0.

She paired with senior Jennifer Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif.) to go 2-1 in doubles action. They started things off with an 8-3 victory over Kellie Manes and Brooke Trevithick from Colorado State-Pueblo. In their next match, the two dropped an 8-3 match to Jennifer Weissman and Abby Stevens from Colorado State before bouncing back to win their final match, 8-1, over Colorado Mesa's pair of McLaughlin and Emily Dodson.

Buchanan, the lone senior who competed in the tournament, went 2-1 in singles in the second flight. She dropped just one game in her first match against Teresa Haro from Colorado State-Pueblo, 6-1, 6-0 and then defeated Wykert from Colorado Mesa 6-3, 6-1 before dropping her final match 6-1, 6-2 against Tarleton State's Karla Martinez.

Junior Stephanie Catlin (Basingstoke, England) also went 2-1 in singles play, winning her first two matches before losing in the finale. Catlin won 6-2, 6-2 over Nicole Lessley from Colorado Mesa and then defeated Brooke Trevithick from Pueblo, 6-2, 6-0. She dropped a 6-0, 6-1 match to Colorado State's Abby Stevens.

Catlin paired with Elizabeth Tapia (Panama City, Panama) in doubles to go 2-1 as well. The pair won 8-1 against Kaylee Davis and Lessley from Colorado Mesa to start the weekend then dropped a hard-fought match to Kaley Schultz and Adriana Wojakowska from Colorado State. The team bounced back to win an 8-6 battle over Tarleton State's Alicia Perez and Karla Martinez.

Tapia also went 2-1 in singles, defeating Perez 7-6, 6-2 and Davis from Mesa, 7-5, 6-3 before losing 6-1, 6-0 to Natalie Heffron from Colorado State.

Hoolahan dropped her opening match to Kendall Heitzner from Colorado State, 6-2, 6-3, then came back to win 6-1, 6-0 over Colorado State-Pueblo's Toni Alvarez. In the finale, she fell 6-3, 6-4 to Tarleton State's Melanie Barnes.

Sophomore Taylor Schumacher (Austin, Texas) went 1-2 in singles and 1-1 in doubles, partnering with two different players from Colorado State. In her opening match, she fell 6-2, 6-4 to Maddie Buxton from Colorado State, who she paired with in doubles on Sunday, losing 8-2 to Heffron and Stevens – teammates of Buxton. Schumacher also paired with Heffron for a doubles win over Nieva and April Downing from Tarleton State, 8-3. Schumacher's win in singles was a 6-0, 6-4 decision against Colorado State-Pueblo's Martina Gilmore. She also lost 6-3, 6-1 to Jennifer Weissmann from Colorado State.

The women will travel with the men's team to the Creighton Invitational next weekend in Omaha, Neb.