Women's Tennis Off to Strong Start at Dick Vitale Classic
Nov. 9, 2012
SARASOTA, Fla. - The Memphis women's tennis team had a strong first day at the Dick Vitale Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic as sophomore Liza Tymchenko advanced to the singles quarterfinals and the senior duo of Courtney Collins and Kelly Gray advanced to the semifinals in doubles.
Tymchenko took down Oklahoma State's Kanyapat Narattana, 6-3, 6-2, before defeating Olivia Janowicz of Florida, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6, in the second round. Tymchenko will now face Notre Dame's Julie Sabacinski in the quarterfinals tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET.
In doubles, Collins and Gray were victorious over No. 36 Brittany Sanders and Sabacinski of Notre Dame, 8-5, in the first round before defeating Oklahoma State's C.C. Sardinha and Meghan Blevins, 8-6, to move on to the final four. Collins and Gray will take on Janowicz and Caroline Hitimana at 9 a.m. ET tomorrow.
"It was very good to see Liza, Courtney and Kelly play so mentally tough down the stretch to close out their victories to advance," said head coach Lee Taylor Walker. "Everyone competed well today and it was a great day one of the tourney. These matches are very important in setting the tone and expectations for the spring. It was another big step in the right direction today and I'm so proud of the team."
In the first round, three other Lady Tigers picked up wins in singles play as Gray pulled out a big win over No. 101 Malika Rose of Oklahoma State, 6-4, 6-4. Freshman Skylar Kuykendall won over Alabama's Antonia Foehse, 7-6, 6-4, while junior Alyssa Hibberd was victorious over Alabama's Emily Zabor, 7-5, 6-2. Freshman Caroline Wegner fell in the first round with a 6-1, 6-4 loss to Blevins before cruising over Joanna Henderson of Tennessee, 6-2, 6-1.
In the second round, Kuykendall fell, 6-3, 6-0, to No. 49 Alexandra Cercone of Florida, while Hibberd was upended by No. 98 Sanders, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Gray also fell in the second round with a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Florida's Briana Morgan.
Also representing the Lady Tigers in doubles were junior Stefanie Mikesz and Wegner, who fell 9-7 to Henderson and Caitlyn Williams, while Kuykendall and Tymchenko fell 8-5 to Foehse and Maya Jansen.