MU tennis teams post solid performances in ITA series

Marco Cicchino, Staff writer

Strong results were everywhere for Mercyhurst’s tennis teams this past week, as players from both squads advanced deep into the ITA Atlantic Regionals.  The tournament was played out at the Pennbriar Athletic Club in Erie.  Saioa Gomez de Segura of the women’s team finished with her third straight Regional Championship, while Ruairidh Fraser took the men into the semifinals.  The women’s draw began on Sept. 16 and saw seven Lakers finish the first day alive.  Top-seeded doubles team Adrianna Jeffress and Kayla Frost began their quest for a second straight finals berth with an 8-5 victory over Slippery Rock’s Viola Lugmayr and Olivia Warner.

Meanwhile, reigning Division II Elite 90 winner and 2016-17 All-American Gomez de Segura teamed with Adina Spahalic and won an 8-4 decision over Slippery Rock’s Lacey Cohen and Carla Corrochana.  The same Hurst pairing later toppled Charleston’s Elise Edwards and Silvana Slusarciuc to book a semifinal spot.  The Charleston Golden Eagles would exact revenge in the Doubles B draw, however, as Bridget Dillon and Briahn Guthrie won 9-7 over Laker freshmen Ivona Plecevic and Athina Tsagkaraki.  From there, it was the singles competition that gave the Lakers the most success.

Top-seed Gomez de Segura began by taking all 12 games from West Chester’s Leandra Roekler and advanced directly to the quarterfinals.  Following this, Spahalic put two over West Liberty’s Ana Berbel (6-0, 6-1), Frost (3-6, 6-2 and 10-8 over Lugmayr) and Jeffress (6-2, 6-2) over Fairmont State’s Trinite’ Klamadji.  Tsagkaraki (6-1, 6-0) put one over West Liberty’s Alyssa Hoffman with a victory in the Round of 32 to finish off this Laker series.  Following this up however was Cohen finishing Spahalic 4-1 to end her run. Plecevic was beaten as well, sinking 4-3 to Charleston’s Alize Uyttenhove.  Gomez de Segura took 6-1 and 6-3 victories over IUP’s Nicole Beidacki and Charleston’s Katie Swann. Jeffress, on the other hand, needed a 2-2 win over the Crimson Hawks’ Luise von Agris to reach the quarters.

Jeffress was able to dispatch Edinboro’s Laura Lopez (4-6, 6-1 and 10-4) and Charleston’s Kristine Gegeshidze (6-2, 3-6 and 10-4) before falling to Gómez de Segura.  But just like the day prior, the pairing of Gegeshidze and Swann upended Jeffress and Frost with an 8-6 victory. von Agrids and Beidacki pulled off an 8-4 win over Gómez de Segura and Spahalic.  Plecevic came back and won three Singles B matches, but Tsagkaraki fell twice (6-2, 6-2) to West Liberty’s Ekaterina Pinchuk.  With Plecevic, Tsagkaraki pulled off an 8-3 over Pinchuk and Makalya Schaefer during the doubles.

After the women’s action, the script shifted to the men’s draw.  Opening on Sept. 22 was Cormac McCooey, who started the day with a victory over Charleston’s Joao Tayar (6-3, 4-6, 10-4).  Unai Amiletta (6-1, 6-1 over Matt Lynch of West Liberty), Fraser (6-3, 6-0 over Fairmont State’s Gui Pachane) and Nenad Terzic (6-3, 6-5 over WLU’s Nick Liddy) added on to open the Round of 32 for the Lakers.  Sebastian Pardo fell (3-6, 4-6 and 6-10) to Mauricio Santus of Edinboro in his matchup there, but Arseniy Sklyarov made up for it with a B-bracket sweep of the Fighting Scots’ Dishon Brooks.

The Doubles squads fared much better, as Amiletta and Terzic won 8-0 over Lynch’s team and 8-6 over a Charleston team. McCooey and Fraser won 8-4 over Liddy’s team but fell 9-7 to Bluefield State.  Sklyarov and Pardo defeated Charleston 8-3, while Cerny and Luka Veselic defeated another Golden Eagles squad 8-1.  Sept. 23 saw Fraser overcome first set losses to dispatch Alex Rudenco of Bluefield State 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 in the Round of 16.  Fraser would then secure a victory over West Virginia Wesleyan’s Luke Laipold to add to his tally (1-6, 6-1 and 12-10).  McCooey walked over Lucas Alves of Fairmont State before falling to Bluefield State’s Platon Gud 6-4, 6-1 in the quarters.  Terzic beat Wesleyan’s Maycon Santos Dias 6-1, 2-6 and 15-13 before falling to Giorgi Datashvili of Bluefield State 6-2, 6-3.

Amiletta fell in the Round of 16 6-1, 6-3 to eventual Singles and Doubles champion Vitor Albanese of Edinboro.  Sklyarov continued on in the Singles B draw with respective (7-6 (3), 6-4 and 6-0, 6-2) wins over West Chester’s Gavin Kenny and Fairmont State’s Brad Schug.  Veselic won 6-4, 6-1 over Edinboro’s Kevin Mboko before losing (2-6, 7-6 (2) and 10-6) to Wesleyan’s Harry Simaifiordis.  Pardo defeated Charleston’s Tom Andrews 8-3 and Pachane 8-6 to reach the semis. Cerny beat Charleston’s Sean Cajas 8-4, later falling 8-2 to Sheperd’s Eva Dokken.  However, Cerny also failed in his doubles match, falling with Veselic to Pachane’s squad 8-3. Terzic and Amiletta lost 8-6 to Gud’s team, while Sklyarov and Pardo fell 8-5 to Santos Dias’ team.

The regional wrapped up on Sept. 24 as Fraser was beaten 1-0 by Datashvili in the singles semifinals.