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PHILADELPHIA – The Penn women’s tennis will be sending an undefeated duo to compete in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships Nov. 8-11 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Sophomore Sol Eskenazi and freshman Sonya Latycheva have compiled a perfect 8-0 record together this season in doubles competition.
Despite their success, the two have only paired up for two tournaments. The Columbia Invitational was the first tournament of the fall season and Eskenazi, the reigning ITA Northeast Region Rookie of the Year, took Latycheva under her wing. The pair won both of their matches 8-4 – the first over Harvard and then St. John’s. The two ended up pulling out of the tournament prior to the semifinals.
After a month break, the pair teamed up once again for the final tournament of the fall season before the National Championships, the ITA Northeast Regionals. After winning their first two matches over Stony Brook (8-1) and NJIT (8-3) with relative ease, the pair buckled down for two tough matches. The first was against Nicole Bartnik – the No. 1 seeded player in singles competition – and Crystal Leung of Ivy League rival Columbia in the Round of 16. Penn’s doubles pair emerged victorious 8-6. The story was the same in the next round as they topped another Ivy duo in Elizabeth Epstein and Hanna Yu of Yale, also 8-6.
In the semifinals, Eskenazi and Latycheva surpassed the No. 1 seeded team of Lindsay Graff and Amanda Muliawan from Princeton, 8-2, and moved on to the finals. There they would face another Columbia duo, No. 2 seeded Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga, but the result would end the same as the prior meeting, with Penn on top 8-6. That win, their eighth of the season, earned them the Women’s ITA Northeast Regional Doubles Championship. It also guaranteed them a spot in the ITA Championships.
The ITAs will feature the toughest competition of the season by far. Highlighting the list of opposing pairs will be three top-10 duos. Southern California will be sending the defending ITA Indoor Champs – and current No. 1 in the Campbell/ITA Women’s Doubles Rankings – Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria. The other two pairs are No. 7 Lorraine Guillermo and Khunpak Issara of Pepperdine and No. 9 Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay of Stanford. Also presenting some stiff competition will be the UCLA pair of Robin Anderson and Pamel Montez – the two are ranked separately in the top five with different partners.
A complete list of the 20 competing ITA doubles pairs can be found HERE.