Women's Tennis Concludes Opening Tournament

by Robert Quiroga
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Women's Tennis Concludes Opening Tournament

Chapel Hill, N.C. – The LSU Women’s Tennis team concluded play in the Kitty Harrison Invitational at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center on Sunday evening.

Selling Points
“This weekend was extremely valuable and successful for our team on and off the court,” co-head coach Michael Sell said. “Each player learned more about themselves playing in one of the toughest fall tournaments. We head back home with more confidence, belief, and clarity with how we compete and areas to improve.”

“This experience will so much value as we continue to advance in the fall season. We have a lot of tough work ahead of us, but we have so much confidence in this team, and we’re excited to keep building from this weekend.”

Day 1
Friday’s action consisted of an opening round of doubles and two singles rounds. Juniors Safiya Carrington and Maggie Cubitt started the day with a win as they took down Charlotte’s Ruxi Schech and Lucia Quiterio in a tight 7-6(3) match that saw the Tiger duo pull away in the tiebreaker.

The No. 51-ranked duo of fifth year seniors Ena Babic and Taylor Bridges opened their account as a duo with a ranked win, defeating the No. 59 team of Miska Kadleckova and Sofia Cabezas from Iowa State in a narrow 7-5 contest.

Fifth year senior Mia Rabinowitz and junior Nina Geissler took on North Carolina’s Kacie Harvey and Lindsay Zink. Harvey and Zink played a strong match and grabbed the win by a score of 6-2.

The first round of singles opened with a win for LSU as No. 43 Bridges grabbed her first win of the season with an emphatic 6-1, 6-1 straight set win over Wake Forest’s Mia Ahmad.

Bridges’ second round match paired her against North Carolina’s Zink. Zink grabbed the close first set by a score of 6-4 before Bridges replied in the second with a 6-3 win to force a ten-point tiebreaker. The ten-point tiebreaker went the way of Zink as she claimed a 10-3 win to advance in her bracket.

Babic followed her first doubles win as a Tiger by grabbing a 6-0, 6-4 straight set win over Florida’s Emily De Oliveira.

The second-round matchup for Babic pitted her against No. 36 Yuliia Starodubtseva from Old Dominion. Babic opened the first set with a 6-4 win and finished the match in straight sets as she claimed the second in a close 7-5 set to earn her first ranked win as a Tiger.

Cubitt drew Princeton’s Stephanie Schrage in her first-round match. Schrage held Cubitt off in two sets, claiming a 6-3, 6-4 win.

In the second round, Cubitt was pitted against Peyton Pesavento from Wake Forest. Pesavento controlled the match and earned a 6-2, 6-1 win to advance to the next stage.

Rabinowitz played her lone singles match of the day against Charlotte’s Lucia Quiterio in a match that saw Quiterio grab a 6-2, 6-0 win.

Geissler opened singles play by taking on Amber O’Dell from Virginia. Geissler claimed the first set by a score of 6-4 before O’Dell equalized with a 7-5 win in the second set to force a ten-point tiebreaker. The ten-point tiebreaker went back and forth, but O’Dell was able to pull away right at the end to win 12-10 and claim victory.

Geissler’s second match saw her paired against Old Dominion’s Shahar Biran. Biran edged Geissler in the first set after a tiebreaker, 7-6(2), and followed her set win with a match win by claiming set two by a score of 6-2.

No. 96 Carrington followed her doubles success with a first round win in singles over Sofia Johnson of Old Dominion. Carrington claimed a 6-1 win in the first set before Johnson took the second by a score of 6-4. The third set tiebreaker went the way of Carrington, holding off her opponent in a 10-6 victory.

The second-round match for Carrington had her face No. 64 Marlee Zein of Florida. Carrington struck first and claimed the first set by a score of 6-4. Zein equalized in the second set, taking an early lead and winning 6-1 to push the match to a third set tiebreaker. In the third set tiebreaker, Carrington held the lead and strung together consecutive points to win 10-6 and claim her first ranked win of the season.

Day 2
The second day of the Invitational consisted of two rounds of doubles and one round of singles play. Carrington and Cubitt opened play with a doubles match against Duke’s Ellie Coleman and Eliza Omirou, a match where Coleman and Omirou narrowly edged the Tiger duo in a 6-4 contest.

Carrington and Cubitt’s next opponents were the No. 30 duo of Briana Crowley and Christina Hand from Northwestern. The match went back and forth, requiring a tiebreaker that was equally as close as the previous games. The Northwestern duo was able to pull out a narrow 8-6 win in the tiebreaker to claim victory over the two Tigers.

No. 51-ranked duo of Babic and Bridges faced Casie Wooten and Samantha Martinelli to start their day in a match that Wooten and Martinelli were able to win by a score of 6-1.

Babic and Bridges’ second match pit them against Kansas’ Malkia Ngounoue and Mariana Velasquez. The Jayhawk duo was able to pull out the win over the Tigers by a score of 6-2.

Geissler and Rabinowitz grabbed their first win as a doubles duo in their first match of the day when they downed Wake Forest’s Saby Nihalani and Mia Ahmad in a strong 6-1 match.

The new duo followed up their first win with another as they held off a late charge to defeat Florida’s Emily De Oliveira and Bentee Spee in a close 6-4 contest.

Babic opened the singles round by taking on No.88 Reilly Tran from North Carolina. Tran took an early lead in both sets and didn’t look back as she defeated Babic 6-1, 6-1.

Cubitt face Iowa State’s Cabezas in her singles match. The two contested an even first set that saw Cabezas narrowly win 7-5 before going on to win the second by a score of 6-1.

Rabinowitz took on Iowa State’s Kadleckova in a match that saw Kadleckova claim a 6-1, 6-1 straight set win.

No. 96 Carrington faced No. 78 Anika Yarlagadda in a ranked matchup. The match was a back-and-forth affair, with Yarlagadda claiming the first set 7-5 and following up with a 7-6 tiebreaker win over Carrington in the second.

Day 3
Sunday’s action consisted of one round of doubles and singles each. The lone Tiger duo in action was Geissler and Rabinowitz, taking on Northwestern’s Maria Shusharina and Clarissa Hand. Shusharina and Hand were able to hold off the Tigers in a 6-4 match.

No. 43 Bridges’ final match of the weekend saw her take on Northwestern’s Briana Crowley. Bridges claimed the close first set by a score of 6-4 before completing the straight set victory with a 6-3 win in the second.

Babic finished the weekend by grabbing another ranked win, taking down No. 68 Ngounoue from Kansas in three sets. Babic took an early lead and claimed the first set 6-3 before Ngounoue struck back and claimied the second by a score of 6-4. In the ten-point tiebreaker, Babic held control and won 10-4 to claim her second ranked singles win of the weekend.

Rabinowitz took on North Carolina’s Harvey in the final round in a match that saw the Tar Heel win by a score of 6-2, 6-2.

Geissler played LSU’s final match of the weekend against Princeton’s Schrage. Schrage claimed a strong 6-1 first set before Geissler held off a late charge in the second set to win 6-4 and force a ten-point tiebreaker. The two players contested an even tiebreaker, with Geissler able to pull ahead and win 10-7 to claim match victory.

Up Next
Bridges and Babic will travel to Charleston, South Carolina to participate in the ITA All-American Championships, beginning on Monday, October 4th.

Social Media
For more information on the LSU women’s tennis program follow the Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten , on Instagram @LSUWTen , and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.