PHILADELPHIA – It was a banner weekend for Penn women’s tennis at the 2006 Women’s College Tennis Invitational in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. There were plenty of big wins for the Quakers, but the biggest of all came from freshman Maria Anisimova (Moscow, Russia), as she swept through the ‘C’ bracket to take the tournament title.
19 schools competed in the tournament, including Duke, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Saint John’s, Army, Syracuse, Rutgers, Arkansas, Penn State, Virginia, Dartmouth, Brown, Boston College, Princeton, N.C. State, Yale, Columbia and Harvard. Despite the tough competition, Penn had one of the best overall showings.
Anisimovaled the way with her win inthe singles ‘C’ bracket. The freshman was unseeded going into the weekend, but came out on top despite a recent injury, turning a few heads along the way. In the first round, she took on the No. 6 seed, Miranda Gutierrez from South Carolina, and won 6-3, 6-2. In the second round, Anisimova took on Laura Trimble from Princeton, and won easily, 6-1, 6-1. In the quarterfinals, she faced off against another seeded player --the No. 1 seed, in fact, Clelia Deltour from Duke. Anisimova beat her 7-5, 6-0, to advance to the semifinals. Once again, the unseeded Quaker was paired up against a big name, N.C. State’s No. 4 seed, Julia Roach. But Anisimova didn’t sweat it, and beat her 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the final. In the final, Anisimova faced off against an unranked player, N.C. State’s Neils Barringer. Once again, she didn’t even need to worry about a tiebreaker, as she won 6-4, 6-3.
In the ‘A’ bracket, juniors Yulia Rivelis and Julia Koulbitskaya came into the tournament ranked No. 3 and No. 5, respectively. Despite losing in the quarterfinals, Rivelis had some big wins along the way. In the first round, she took on Katrina Elder-Bush from Rutgers and won 6-1, 6-4. She advanced to face off against Tory Zawacki from Duke, and battled through for the win, 6-7(3), 6-4, 10-4. Rivelis thenfell in the quarterfinal round to No. 8 Melissa Saiontz from Princeton, 6-4, 7-5.
Koulbitskaya also had some big wins on her way through the bracket. In the first round, she defeated Lauren Holzberg from Penn State, 7-6(3), 6-3. In the second round, she faced off against Michelle Paulter from Brown and won 6-0, 6-4. It was her quarterfinal win that was the most impressive, however, as she took down the No. 1 seed, Harvard’s Lena Litvak, 6-3, 4-6, 10-4. Unfortunately, South Carolina’s Ana Zubori beat her in the semifinals, 6-1, 6-2, preventing Koulbitskaya from advancing any further.
Junior Charlotte Tansill did well in the ‘B’ bracket. In the first round, she beat Jenny Shular from Penn State, 6-4, 6-2. In the second round, she took on No. 7 seed Audrey Boureleau from Arkansas and won 7-5, 4-6, 10-8. Tansill then advanced to the quarterfinal round, where she faced off against Alina Sullivan from Boston Collegeandfought back after losing the first set to grab one more win, 2-6, 6-3, 10-8. She then fell in the quarterfinals to No. 3 seed Kristen Cargill from Duke, 7-5, 6-2.
Junior Michelle Mitchell also took part in the ‘B’ bracket. In the first round, she lost to No. 8 seed Lauren Cash from Boston College, 6-2, 6-0. She also lost in the first round of consolations, to Sarah Huah from Princeton, 6-4, 6-2. Mitchell would find success in the second round of consolations, however, beating Army’s Paige Ford, 6-4, 6-2.
Sophomore Lauren Sadaka was placed in the 'C' bracket along with Anisimova, seeded at No. 7, and she had some success as well. In the first round, she faced off against Maria Vasilyeva from Syracuse, and beat her, 6-2, 6-3. In the round of 16, she took on Dorothy Dohanics of Penn State, and won, 7-5, 1-6, 10-7. But her run would end there, as she defaulted to Neils Barringer from NC State.
In ‘D’ singles, senior captain Ashley Lostritto beat Columbia’s Kim McMenamin in the first round, 4-6, 6-1, 10-0. She fell in the second round, however, to Carolina Huignard from Syracuse, 6-3, 6-2. She then took on Dana Gordon from Rutgers and lost, 6-1, 6-0. Senior Felicia Curcuru also took part in the ‘D’ bracket. After a first-round bye, she fell in the second round to Austin Hansen of Virginia, 6-4, 6-1. She then lost in the first consolation round, to Julia Zak from Dartmouth, 6-4, 6-4.
Koulbitskaya and Rivelis teamed up to take on the doubles ‘A’ bracket as well, as the No. 6 seed. In the first round, they lost to Katie Bramante and Victoria Vaynberg from Syracuse, 8-3. But that was the last time they would lose all day. In the consolation bracket, they beat Jesse Adler and Lindsay Washington from Dartmouth, 8-3, then took on No.-3 seeded Britney Larson and Jennifer Stevens from Virginia and won, 8-1. Mitchell and sophomore Alexis Plukas also took part in the doubles ‘A’ bracket this weekend. They lost in the first round, 8-5, to Kerry Snow and Marybeth Winingham of Dartmouth. In the first round of consolation, they ran into trouble again,falling to Zawacki and Jenny Zika from Duke, 8-5. They ended their day with a win, however, beating Nina Suda and Milena Kachar from Columbia in the second round of consolation, 8-6.
In the doubles ‘B’ bracket, Lostritto and Lauren Sadaka had some success as well. They lost in the first round to Dorothy Dohanics and Andreea Niculescu of Penn State, 8-4, butbounced back to win in the first round of the consolation bracket against Columbia'sLinnae Goswami and Allison Cordell, 8-1. Their run would stop there, as Huignard and Ashley Lipton from Syracuse beat them, 8-3.
One of the big success stories of the day was the Tansill and Anisimova pairing in the ‘B’ bracket. The two freshmen, seeded fifth, made quite a run, starting in the first round with an 8-1 win over Dartmouth's Danielle Murray and Elizabeth Warnack. From there, they went on to beat Kristen Bleakley and Berkeley Brock from N.C. State, 8-4. In the quarterfinals, they took on Lauren Holzberg and Lauren McCarthy from Penn State and beat them, 8-3, to advance to the semifinals. There, they met with Kelly Stewart and Laura Trimble from Princeton, and won easily, 8-3. Their foe in the final was a big one,top-seeded Clelia Deltour and Parker Goyer from Duke,and they fell 8-1.
Up next, the Quakers will travel to Hanover, N.H. to take part in the ITA Regionalsbeginning Friday, October 20.