Owls perform well at St. Joe’s

By Danielle Nelson

*This article is posted on The Temple News website.

After three days of competition at the Saint Joseph’s Invitational, senior Jordan Batey was crowned the winner of the third singles flight on Sunday.

Just days after returning to the court following her knee injury, Batey was able to cruise to unbeaten 4-0 record to end the tournament.

“I thought Jordan’s performance was good considering that she just got cleared and she only had a couple of official practices,” coach Steve Mauro said. “Hopefully she will continue to work and get stronger and play at a higher level.”

The weekend got started with freshman Anais Nussaume being the lone player to begin her singles flight on Friday. Nevertheless, Nussaume won in straight set, 6-1, 6-0 to head into the second round on Saturday. Nussaume, along with her teammates seniors Alicia Doms, Batey, Carly Bohman, Yana Mavrina and junior Rebecca Breland, all played on Saturday. At the first flight, Doms won her first match of the opening round in a tiebreaker against Loyola’s Megan Hahn, by losing the first set 4-6 but then easily winning the second set 6-1 to setup a tiebreaker 10-5. Also playing at the first flight was Mavrina, who dropped her opening match 6-2, 6-1 against Monica Yajima from Fairfield and falling into the consolation round where she regrouped and won 6-2, 6-2 against Shivani Patel of Saint Francis.

Breland, who played at the second flight, was victorious in her match against Fairfield’s Allison Radde. Breland moved on to the second round, where she won the first set against Saint Francis’ Alex Sachs and fell in the second set 2-6. During the tiebreaker, there was a lengthy dispute between the players, officials and Saint Francis’ coach about which balls were in and which were out.

“A couple of points I called the ball out, which she thought was in, which were out on my part,” Breland said. “Then a point in the tiebreak, I didn’t hear her clearly if she called the ball out, which I don’t think she did that was a dispute because that should have been my point but they gave it to her.”

At that point Breland came storming back to win the tiebreaker 10-6, to move on to the next round.

“All I was thinking was, I cannot lose this match,” Breland said. “I was too upset about the point that should have been [mine]. But I thought it was a good thing for me because it actually put me up a bit more. I think that is the reason I pulled the match out.”

“I am very happy with how she played,” assistant coach Frederika Girsang said. “I am happy because she won but I am happier with the way she performed. That she actually applied what we practiced into the match and with that she is just going to progress even more.”

At the third flight, Batey easily won the first set of her match 6-1, but found it a tad bit harder in the second set. Girsang had to go on the court and encourage her briefly.

“She has such a high standard for herself which is a good thing,” Girsang said. “She was just being negative and focusing more on how bad she was doing. But I am happy she was able to grind it out.”

Batey was then able to win the second set in a 6-4 decision, taking the match and moving on to the next round, where she shutout Delaware’s Kim Milla, 6-0, 6-0 to move on to the semifinal round.

It was smooth sailing for Bohman at the fourth flight as she defeated her senior counterpart, Michele Vona from Saint Joseph, in a 6-1, 6-1 decision.

“This is my fourth year now playing at Saint Joseph’s so I am use to the court,” said Bohman. “I know what I can and cannot do here.”

In the next round, however, Bohman would fall to Tava Zoubareva from Saint Francis in a close match, 7-6(6), 6-4 ending her chances for a shot at the title.

At the start of Sunday’s competition, three Owls were still in contention for a title including Batey, Breland and Doms. Mavrina was vying for a consolation title.

Doms loss her semifinals match. The first set was extremely close 7-6(3), where she lost and was not able to regain herself in the second set, falling to a score of 6-1. Mavrina won her semifinal consolation round, beating Villanova’s Mikelle Mancini 6-4,6-1, to secure her spot in the final. Mavrina was unsuccessful, however, as she fell in the consolation final 6-3, 7-5 to Megan Hahn of Loyola.

Breland faced Delaware’s Nataliya Naumove, where she lost in the quarterfinals 7-5, 6-0 ending her quest for a tittle.

Batey was ultimately the last Owl standing as she won her semifinal round against Lea Winkler posting a 6-4, 6-2 win to go head to head against Christina Harrington of Delaware in the championship match and winning with the exact score of 6-4, 6-2 and claiming the third singles flight title.

In doubles play, the Owls did not fair as well.

The duo of Batey and Bohman was the lone group to make it as far as the semifinal round, where they dropped the match in a 8-4 decision.

“We still do need a lot of work with the doubles,” Girsang said. “We have a few new doubles team so they have to get use to the partners.”

The women will take to the court again this weekend at the Lehigh Invitational.

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