Minutewomen face strong competition at Big Green Invitational
Jessica Podlofsky’s impressive display over the weekend shone bright for the Massachusetts tennis team, which was met with stiff competition at the Big Green Invitational.
The Minutewomen closed out the fall portion of their schedule in Hannover, N.H., with the weekend-long tournament, which also included Boston University, Yale, St. John’s and host Dartmouth.
Podlofsky recorded wins in both of her singles duels, bringing her tournament record to 10-1 on the season. Her first win over the Big Green’s Rachel Decker-Sadowski (7-5, 6-4) was the first overall win for the Minutewomen. On the second day, Podlofsky dispatched the Terriers’ Sami Lieb (6-2, 4-6, 6-3).
In doubles, Podlofsky also collected a win with freshman partner Chanel Glasper on the second day. The pairing lost their first two matches, first to Dartmouth’s Janet Liu and Decker-Sadowski (8-5), and on the second day against BU’s Jessi Linero and Leonie Athanasiadis (8-6). In their final match of the tournament, the UMass pair defeated the St. John’s selection of Nakita Austin and Ece Firat (8-4), to ensure Podlofsky ended her tournament with a positive record.
Glasper also found success in the singles portion of the draw. Her initial match saw each set need the seventh-game winner, even in a tie-breaker in the final set. In the end, however, the Big Green’s co-captain Shelley Carpeni (7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (8)) emerged on top. Glasper recovered on the second day to overcome the Terrier’s Kendal Drake (6-4, 6-0), in a much quicker contest.
Struggling sophomore Yuliana Motyl also picked up a couple of wins in doubles on Day 1 and a singles triumph on the second day. Motyl, pairing up with Chantal Swiszcz, took to the court against the Yale duo Steph Kent and Sarah Guzick. The combination was able to take the match (8-6) before a ninth-game winner was necessary. Following their initial success, the duo was topped in both of its matches on the second day.
Motyl was also taken down by Dartmouth’s top-seeded Akiko Okuda (6-2, 6-2) on the first day. The following day, Motyl took down Athanasiadis (6-3, 3-6, 6-1). As a result of the victory, Motyl takes a 3-6 singles record into the break.
UMass’ Julia Comas took two defeats over the weekend in the singles draw. Coming into the weekend at 5-4 in tournament play, Comas now enters the break having failed to save a positive record.
Comas put up a solid fight in her first set of the tournament against Liu (7-5, 6-0). Comas, however, was swept out of the second set. Next, Comas came up against Linero, forcing a seventh-game winner in the first, but ultimately losing the match in straight sets (7-6, 6-3).
The Minutewomen also featured a pair of freshman who made their debuts for the team in the competition. Emilie Burgess recorded her first victory for UMass in a straight-set win (6-0, 6-3) over BU’s Marina Fileva. When teamed with Gianna Francis in a doubles match, Burgess experienced her first tournament defeat as well, with Dartmouth’s Sabrina Stewart and Theresa Smith (8-1) making quick work of the freshman couple. In singles, Francis was defeated twice in straight sets.
Sophomore Sonia Bokhari also took two defeats at the tournament in singles, before recording a hard-fought victory over Becker and Dittmer grouping in doubles with Francis (8-6).
The Big Green Invitational concluded the fall portion of the Minutewomen’s schedule. They’re now off until they travel to the Bay Road Tennis Club to take on Boston College when their dual-schedule resumes on Jan. 28.
Jeffrey Okerman can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @MDC_Okerman.