October 14, 2012

Women's tennis closes fall with successful tournament

By HEATHER KENNEDY
UNCBears.com

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Northern Colorado Women’s Tennis team wrapped up the fall season with one of the most successful ITA Regional Tournaments in recent history.

“This is by far one of the best ITA Regional Tournament results we’ve had,” Head Coach Brenda Vlasak said. “We had three solid first round wins in singles. We worked hard and were very competitive and are taking steps in the right direction.”

Junior Stephanie Catlin (Basingstoke, England) won her first two matches at the tournament before falling in the round of 32 to Denver’s Sophie Bergner, the fifth-seed at the Regionals, 6-3, 6-1.

In the first round, Catlin defeated in-state rival Mazy Watrous from Colorado in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. She then swept Big Sky foe Michelle Warwick from Weber State 7-6, 6-0.

Catlin paired with junior Elizabeth Tapia (Panama City, Panama) in doubles play. In the first round, the duo pulled off an exciting 9-8 win over Utah State’s Kristina Voytsekhivich and Kallie Sperry. In the second round, they lost 8-6 to second-seeded Sophia Bergner and Steffi Rath from Denver.

Tapia also won her first round match in singles, shutting out Weber State’s Carly Lloyd, 6-0, 6-0. She then dropped a hard-fought second round match to Mandy Van Der Eerenbeemt from Denver, 7-5, 6-4.

“Catlin pulled CU the first round and really proved how tough of a player she is,” Vlasak said. “When she gets determined I truly believe she can beat anyone she walks out on the court with.  Catlin and Tapia had a solid first-round win in doubles against Utah State. I was extremely proud of how hard they fought in their first match to fight off seven match points to pull it through in a tiebreak to win the match.”

Sophomore Chrissie Hoolahan (Richmond, Surrey, England) also won her first round match defeated Weber State’s Annika Karlsen 6-3, 6-1 before losing 6-1, 6-3 to Iren Kotseva from UNLV.

Freshman Hilary Walters-West (Simi Valley, Calif.) lost 6-0, 6-1 to Nevada’s Michelle Okhremchuk, the 13th seed, in the first round.

In the bottom half of the draw, senior Jennifer Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif.) met up with Colorado State’s Kendall Heitzner and lost 6-2, 6-4.

Freshman Claire Uhle (Blue Bell, Pa.) drew 15th-seeded Desiree Tran from BYU and lost 6-0, 6-1.

“The other two doubles matches that we lost were very competitive and we had opportunities in each match,” Vlasak said.

Uhle and Buchanan teamed up for doubles and drew the fifth-seed pair of Manuela and Marlena Pietzuch from Boise State, losing 8-5.

Hoolahan and Walters-West lost a hard-fought 8-6 match against Big Sky Conference opponent Charlotta Hjarlmarsson and Iva Parapunova from Montana State.

“We have some work to do in off season but I believe if we continue to put in the work on the court and in the weight room, we will have success in the spring,” Vlasak concluded.