PHILADLEPHIA The Cissie Leary Memorial Tennis Invitational began its 11th year on Friday as over 50 competitors from ten schools commenced play on the Lott Courts and inside the Levy Tennis Pavilion.
Included in the bracket were nine Quakers, competing in both singles and doubles. At the end of the first day of play, six women were still alive in the main singles draw and three teams were in the hunt for the doubles crown.
Yulia Rivelis began play as the highest seeded Quaker. As the 3rd seed, she received a bye in the first round. Awaiting her in the second round was Natasha Makarova of Columbia. Rivelis made quick work of her fellow Ivy League competitor, winning 6-1, 6-1. In the round of 16, Rivelis will face Masha Pozar of UMass.
Another Quaker who received a bye in the first round was Julia Koulbitskaya. In her second round match, Koulbitskaya also faced an Ivy Leaguer, Sarah Hoffman of Princeton. Koulbitskaya was dominant, winning in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0. Her third round opponent will be Lindsay Clark of Yale.
Charlotte Tansill drew Mymee Takuda of Kansas in the first round and was victorious, 6-0, 6-1. She got off to a slow start in her second round match, but rallied to defeat Bethan James of Virginia Tech, 7-5, 6-0. She will meet Sydney Murray of Columbia in Saturday’s round of 16.
Freshman Alexa Ely made a splash in her Penn debut, advancing to the round of 16 as well. She defeated Ana Delgado of St. Bonaventure in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0. In her next match, Ely was up against Cornell’s Susan Sullivan. Ely won a hard fought match, 6-4, 7-6 (5). She will meet Yale’s Jane Kim next. Kim is the number four seed overall in the tournament.
Maria Anisimova also will compete in Saturday’s main draw. Her first match on Friday was against Virginia Tech’s Abbey Walker. Anisimova was a winner, 6-2, 6-4. She next drew Sinziana Chis from Cornell. Again, Anisimova was up the challenge, defeating Chis 6-4, 6-3. Up next for Anisimova is Elyse Steiner of Temple.
Michelle Mitchell rounds out the Quakers who advanced to Saturday’s round of 16. Her first match pitted her against Princeton’s Taylor Marable. The match went three sets, with Mitchell victorious, 6-2, 1-6, 10-1. In the round of 32, Mitchell defeated Virginia Tech’s Sarah Ahmed in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0. On Saturday, Mitchell will meet the number two overall seed in the tournament, Inga Beerman of Virginia Tech.
Other Quakers in singles action Friday were Vidya Dabir and Lauren Sadaka. Dabir won her first match in a Penn uniform, defeating Kunigunda Dorn of Kansas, 2-6, 6-0, 10-6. She fell in the second round to Cornell’s Tammy John, 6-2, 6-0. Sadaka was defeated in the first round by another Jayhawk, Edina Horvath, 7-5, 6-4.
In doubles play, Penn again had success. The team ofKosminskaya andKoulbitskaya entered play as the number two overall seed. They played up to their billing, advancing to Saturday’s Quarterfinals. The team had a bye in the first round before they met the team of Dorn and Martinez from Kansas. The Quaker duo quickly dispatched of the Jayhawks pair, 8-1. On Saturday, they will meet Brouwer and Walker of Virginia Tech.
Anisimova and Rivelis join their teammates in the Quarterfinals. They also received a bye in the first round before facing Petrelli and Kim from Yale. The match was tight, with Penn’s pair ultimately winning, 8-6. They advance to play Beerman and Larson from Virginia Tech.
The third Penn team in the Quarterfinals is the team of Ely andMitchell. The freshman/senior duo performed well in their first tournament together, winning two matches on their way to the Quarters. First, they beat Svistun and Takuda from Kansas, 8-0. Up next was a match against the third seed, Marable and Parks from Princeton. The Quaker pair was up the challenge, defeating the Tiger duo, 9-8 (9). On Saturday, they will square off against Boney and Pozar from UMass.
A fourth doubles team competed for Penn as well. Sadaka andTansill won their first round match, 8-0, against Cramp and Ahmed from Virginia Tech. Up next was the top seed in the draw, Avdeeva and Horvath, who were also ranked 36th in the ITA rankings. Sadaka and Tansil were not able to pull off the upset, eventually falling, 8-6.
Play begins on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. with the Quarterfinals in doubles action. Singles play resumes at approximately 10:30 a.m. Check back to www.pennathletics.com for updates throughout the day.