HAMDEN, CONN. – The schedule called for strictly doubles matches on Friday at the 2012 Quinnipiac Invitational as the Seton Hall tennis team traveled to Connecticut for its first taste of action in the fall season.
Seton Hall entered four duos in the field, two each in the A flight and B flight respectively.
Playing together for the first time, senior captain Karina Cordero (Maracay Estado Aragua, Venezuela) and newcomer Alex Landert (Naples, Fla.) made the most noise for the Pirates on the day. In their first match of the day, Cordero and Landert cruised past Michelle Aptekin and Maggie Tooley of Sacred Heart, 8-1, in a battle of SHU’s to advance to the B flight quarterfinals. As a follow up, the Pirate pair ousted Connecticut’s team of Alexandra Bergman and Marie Gargiulo in a hard-fought 8-6 affair, earning a berth in the semifinals.
One step away from the finals, Cordero and Landert ran into another UConn tandem. This time though, the Huskies’ team of Emile Burgess and Lucy Nutting came out on top, 8-5.
Familiar partners Anna Guryanova (Moscow, Russia) and Maria Rodriguez (Bogota, Colombia) also represented Seton Hall in the B flight. Guryanova and Rodriguez got their 2012 campaign off on the right foot, besting Providence’s Caitlin Foley and Olivia Hogan, 8-5. In the second round, the two sophomores fell to Julia Allen and Natalie Robson of UConn, 4-8.
Another Pirate squad, the team of Julia Keenan (Greenland, N.H.) and Madison Shoemaker (Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia) also managed two victories on the day. In their debut, Keenan and Shoemaker went up against another Connecticut pair, Abby McKeon and Srna Stosljevic, in the A flight first round.
Keenan and Shoemaker got off to a roaring start, opening up a 6-2 lead on their BIG EAST foes. McKeon and Stosljevic rebounded to match the run, evening the score at 8-8 and forcing a decisive tiebreak. Despite regrouping to build a 4-1 advantage in the decider, Keenan and Shoemaker ultimately fell, 8-9 (6).
Undeterred by the setback, SHU’s new tandem quickly got back on track by dispatching Paige Olson and Nicole Rydzewski of Sacred Heart by a score of 8-2 in their first consolation match. The two went on to end the day on a high note, doubling up Karen Ramirez and Hannah Zangari of Providence, 8-4, in their final match of the day.
In their first appearance since shattering every previous mark in the Seton Hall doubles record book last season, juniors Rocio Portela (Demetrio Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) and Chloe Sher (Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong) received a first-round bye in the A flight. The two struggled in what would be their only match of the day, dropping a 1-8 decision to Michelle Dassa and Jacqueline Raynor of hosts Quinnipiac.
Dassa and Raynor went on to defeat another BIG EAST pair to advance to the A flight doubles final.
By virtue of Friday’s results, Seton Hall has been eliminated from doubles competition this weekend.
“It was a little bit of a tough first day,” said head coach Greg Wyzykowski. “While the final results may not have been exactly what we hoped for, we showed did some things well today and I can definitely see the potential for better things to come.”
Play will continue from Quinnipiac on Saturday, September 15 as the singles portion of the tournament gets underway. The day two schedule calls for two rounds of singles, with matches beginning at 9 a.m.
Don;t forget to follow the all-new official twitter of Seton Hall tennis (@SHU_Tennis) for real-time updates on all the action from Hamden.