Jessica Podlofsky and Chanel Glasper led a strong showing by the Massachusetts tennis team this weekend at Army’s Eastern Collegiate Invitational, winning its respective tennis flight titles.
The Minutewomen started off the tournament with an impressive Friday, advancing six of their eight participants in the invitational onto the second day of action with victories from Sonia Bokhari, Julia Comas, Podlofsky, Glasper, Chantal Swiszcz and Jocelyn Providence.
Due to inclement weather on Friday, most of the matches were played in pro-style, meaning that a victory was achieved when a player reached eight games, as long as they led by at least two wins.
Yuliana Motyl received a first-round bye in flight but dropped a tight second-round match 9-8 (3) against Sacred Heart’s Gabi Kaldan. Bianca Drabek fell in the only match played for UMass in the traditional best-of-three-set format, 6-1, 6-1 to Pittsburgh’s Taylor Washington in Flight D.
Saturday saw a flurry of action as Podlofsky and Glasper advanced to their flights’ finals on Sunday.
Podlofsky, the No. 4 seed in the B division, was able to win a grueling quarterfinal match 6-4, 4-6, 10-7 over Connecticut’s Alexa Gregory and then rolled over the No. 2 seed, Stony Brook’s Prerana Appineni in straight sets.
Glasper was also able to impress on Saturday in a tough quarterfinal match in the C flight over No. 3 Julie Leong of Fordham, 5-7, 6-4, 10-5. Glasper then dominated the No. 1 seed Sarah Viebrock of Quinnipiac, 6-1, 6-3.
No. 2 seed Providence from the Flight D, Bokhari from Flight A and No. 1 seed Comas from Flight B advanced to their flight semifinals before losing on Saturday. Swiszcz also made it to the semifinals in Flight C but had to withdraw from the tournament due to an injury.
On championship Sunday, Podlofsky remained undefeated by defeating St. Bonaventure’s Marissa Brossard 7-5, 6-3 to improve to 8-0 on the season. The sophomore also was named UMass’ Athlete of the Week.
Glasper impressed the field by winning the Flight C with a victory over Stony Brook’s Polina Movchan 6-4, 6-1, despite being unseeded in the tournament to improve to 7-1 on the season.
“I was very pleased with the effort from everyone on the team,” said UMass coach Judy Dixon. “I have felt like the last two weeks have been very positive and what coaches need this time of year is to take a look at their players and see what we need to work on,” she said.
“We’ve seen the improvement that we needed to see,” she added. “We need to see improvement in some places but I would say that in general our start has been very positive.”
The team will put its strong start to the test as dual matches begin this Saturday when it plays host to Providence at 1 p.m.
Cameron McDonough can be reached at email@example.com.