Tennis Opens Fall Slate at Ashford Invite
The University of Sioux Falls women’s tennis team opened its fall schedule this past weekend at the Ashford Invitational, which was hosted by Ashford University. The event featured quality competition from Augustana College, Central College, Missouri Valley, Minnesota State-Mankato, Saint Joseph’s College, St. Francis and host Ashford University.
The Cougars had mixed results on the weekend as two newcomers saw action to go along with six returnees.
In the No. 1 singles bracket, junior Rachel Hussey dropped her opening match to Saint Joseph’s Katee Sanderson 6-0, 6-1 and would later finish in seventh place.
Freshman Stacey Beard defeated Daniela Cheda of Missouri Valley, 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the second round of No. 2 singles where she faced the No. 5 overall seed, Ashford’s Ana Mayagoitia. Beard dropped the contest 6-0, 6-1 to move to the consolation draw, where she lost to top-seeded Danielle Hoffman of St. Francis, 6-1, 6-2 to earn a fourth place finish.
The Cougars did not compete in the No. 3 singles bracket.
At No. 4 singles for USF was sophomore Morgan DeLange, who defeated Barr 6-0, 6-2 before falling to Augustana’s Hannah Gebauer to move to the consolation bracket. She would take fourth place.
Rookie Emily Erickson received a bye as the number one seed in the No. 5 singles draw. She then lost to Ashford’s Montserrat Elizondo, 6-3, 6-1 but bounced back to defeat Heather Storm of Saint Francis, 6-3, 6-4 to wrap up third place.
Junior Julia Iversen was penciled in as the Cougars’ entry in the No. 6 draw and she had the best showing for the Cougars, sweeping past both MSU’s Hailey Robb and Christina Fergason of Missouri Valley en route to a third place finish.
In No. 7 singles, senior
Caitlin Vance posted a thrilling three set victory (6-2, 5-7, 10-8) in her
opening match against Ewelina Szwed before faltering against MSU’s Alexis Heekedahl
in the second round, 6-2, 6-1. She finished in fourth place.
Finally, in the No. 8 singles slot, junior Dannika Nash picked up the win against Saint Joseph’s Katie Phillips before falling to Ashford’s Theresa Stumpf and move to the consolation draw. However, Saint Joseph’s Madison Dwenger, the number one seed in the bracket, edged Nash in the third place match, 8-6, 7-5.
In No. 1 double action, Beard and Hussey were paired together for the first time and won their opener 8-2 over McCann/Lechowski from MSU. The tandem was then edged by Kegley/Guern of Saint Joseph’s, 8-6, 7-5.
The No. 2 doubles team of Seigenthaler/Erickson took seventh place. In No. 3 doubles, Iversen/DeLange won their opening match against Missouri Valley’s Barr/Ferguson, 8-6, 7-5 before falling to the Viking tandem of Sullivan/Helleberg, 8-6, 6-1. The team of Nash/Vance took sixth place in the No. 4 doubles draw.
“Considering how strong the field was, overall I think it was a positive weekend for our team,” USF head coach Kevin Grebin said. “Julia had a great weekend and special kudos have to go to my two freshmen, Amanda Beard and Emily Erickson, for handling the pressure and winning matches in their first-ever collegiate tournament.”
All six players from USF’s 2012 squad are back on the roster again this season. Grebin also bolstered his roster with three incoming freshmen and the return of Seigenthaler, who redshirted last season.
The Cougars are back in action on Sept. 26 at Buena Vista University.