PREVIEW: Women’s tennis out of the ITA Regional Tournament

PREVIEW: Women's tennis out of the ITA Regional Tournament

HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech Women’s Tennis will send multiple players to the ITA Midwest Regional Tournament starting Saturday, September 24, hosted by Grand Valley State University. The singles tournament between Division II players in the region features singles and doubles. The draws were announced this Thursday.

“I was happy to see the event held in three different locations, which gives us the opportunity for everyone to play,” said coach Kristin Yep. “I know our freshmen are excited to go. We have a very different team this year. They are hardworking and our personalities blend well and complement each other. There’s a good balance between working hard every day but also having fun and enjoying spending the time together. I feel like we have a deeper list and it will be important to stay healthy.”

Last season, Nicole Ballach highlighted Michigan Tech’s ITA tournament by reaching the round of 16 in singles. Ballach is back this season to help current players as a Graduate Assistant Coach.

The Huskies feature three senior returnees, including Dominika Bobik (Wroclaw, Poland), Neva Manas (Carmel, Indiana) and Lauren Opalewski (Oxford, Michigan).

Bobik held a 4-5 singles record, including 2-2 at No. 1, and went 3-6 in doubles to earn the All-GLIAC Honorable Mention. Opalewski played mostly in 4th place in the spring and recorded a 5-4 doubles record. Manas appeared in nine singles matches and went 4-5, playing mostly at number 3.

Marina Fernandez (Reus, Spain) and Chiara Heinz (Schwendi, Germany) are back as juniors and Grace Eland (Penrith, England) transferred to Tech as a graduate student this season. Emily Cojocaru (Richmond Hill, Ontario) and Ewa Podulka (Trzebnica, Poland) round out the list as freshmen.

Bobik starts Saturday at 10am in singles A draw against Ana Penteado (Ashland). Eland plays with Zuzanna Krygier (Findlay) also in the A draw. In singles B, it will be Manas facing Kumiko Yamaguchi (Davenport) in the first round. Opalewski plays Chiara Wolff (Walsh) and Podulka takes on 6th seed Daniela Lentisco (Rockhurst).

Bobik and Eland team up in doubles against Sienna Lopez and Hayley Tsuen of Purdue Northwest at 2:30pm Saturday. In doubles B are Cojocaru and Manas, against the 4th seed Canela Luna and Megan Hackman (Hillsdale). Podulka and Opalewski will see Sabrina Laynes and Suki Mandair (Wayne State).

The Huskies begin team matches on February 1, when they host Tiffin University at the Gates Tennis Center.

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