Women’s tennis was able to participate in the first competition of the season: an ITA tournament at Lifetime Fitness. Junior Kelsey Neville, sophomore Kendall Hunt and first-year Darinka Stepan competed in the tournament where the draw started at the round of 16.
Kelsey Neville was the two seed of the tournament, after receiving a bye in the round of 16, she started her tournament off with a win in the quarterfinals. Neville continued onto the semifinals, but after a tough three set battle, she lost.
When Neville was asked how she felt about the tournament her response was nothing but positive.
“I am super grateful that we got the opportunity to get out and compete again and share the courts with my teammates after a couple weeks of great practice,” Neville said.
Kendall Hunt had a tough first round and lost after a hard fought battle. Hunt moved on to compete in the back draw; her first match in the back draw in the quarter finals was a win, and after her win in the quarter finals, she moved into the semifinals and won her match. Hunt advanced to the finals of the back draw and won in a grind three set battle.
“I think it was a great learning experience for everyone who played,” Hunt said. “We have not been able to compete in a while, so it was very beneficial to play competitive matches again and build up confidence for the upcoming spring season”.
Darinka Stepan started in the quarter finals of the tournament with a win, advancing to the semifinals. In the semifinals of the tournament Stepan won three sets and took the tournament in the finals.
Junior Daria Walczak was also able to compete in the tournament this weekend and also won her matches.
“I really enjoyed being back on the court with my teammates as well as supporting them,” Walczak said.
Throughout the tournament, the women’s tennis team had the support of their coaches, both head coach Mai-ly Tran and assistant Coach Kristian Lott.
“I was extremely happy to see the girls competing again,” Tran said. “Our sophomore, Kendall Hunt won 3 out of 4 of her matches and our freshman, Darinka Stepan won the tournament in a dominant fashion. We were grateful for the opportunity to play and gain some confidence from the experience.”
Lott was also pleased to see players back in their element.
“It was nice to see the team back on the court competing after months of being off,” Lott said. “I thought everyone got better every match they played, and I’m excited to see them continue to make improvements throughout the fall and into the spring season.”