ITHACA, N.Y. – On day two of the spring season and the Cornell Invitational, the Seton Hall women’s tennis team added to its impressive run of success in tournament-style play during the 2012-13 season.
Play on Saturday included two rounds of singles and one round of doubles for players from the three competing teams, and began with the Pirates still represented in both of the top-flight main draws.
After receiving a first round bye as the second-overall seed in the A flight, Chloe Sher (Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong) made her return to the singles court earlier today. In her quarterfinal matchup, she quickly dispatched Cornell’s Laila Judeh in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
With a berth in Sunday’s final on the line, the SHU junior drew a date with Army’s Jamila Paul, the reigning Patriot League Player of the Year. In a tight match, Sher was able to put away the winning points and oust the Black Knights’ top player, 6-4, 7-5.
With the two victories, she reaches her third tournament final of the season after winning the A flight crown at the Quinnipiac Invitational and reaching the final at the Bill and Sandra Moore Invitational in the fall. She is also now the second Pirate to reach 10 wins to this year, joining freshman Julia Keenan (Greenland, N.H.) in accomplishing the feat.
On Sunday, she will get her second look at Cornell’s Sarah O’Neil this season as the top-two seeds are set to square off in the final. When the two met at October’s USTA Collegiate Invitational, O’Neil secured a straight-set victory.
The singles match will be the only finals appearance for O’Neil this weekend due in large part to the play of Keenan and teammate Madison Shoemaker (Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia). The two underclassmen continued to assert themselves as a legitimate doubles force, advancing to the championship behind an 8-3 victory over the home team of O’Neil and Courtney Malinchak.
It is the second finals appearance of the season for the duo of Keenan and Shoemaker after they put together three-consecutive wins at the USTA Collegiate Invitational to become the first Seton Hall pair to reach a championship at the event. They now lead the Pirates with eight doubles wins so far this year.
After taking home six titles in four tournaments in the fall, SHU now has the chance to capture two more on the final day at CU.
The Pirates posted a total of four additional victories on day two, exceling singles back draw competition. In all, five SHU players scored a singles victory as Keenan, Karina Cordero (Maracay Estado Aragua, Venezuala), Alex Landert (Naples, Fla.) and Rocio Portela (Demetrio Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) joined Sher in the win column.
Keenan dominated Margaret Iliev in her only singles appearance of the day, overpowering the Army junior to the tune of 6-1, 6-1. After falling to Iliev to start the day, Cordero bounced back in a big way as she dropped only one game in an impressive win over Army’s Morgen Kiser.
Portela’s victory came against the Black Knights’ Haley O’Connor as she collected her second win of the weekend by a final score of 6-4, 6-2. Landert tallied the fifth triumph by a Seton Hall player over an Army opponent on the day, easily defeating Maya Parker, 6-2, 6-3.
The results are significant given that the two teams will face off next Saturday in the Pirates’ first dual match of the spring.
Shoemaker and fellow sophomore Maria Rodriguez (Bogota, Colombia) fell just short of adding to the win tally as they each suffered hard-fought three-set losses.
The Cornell Invitational is set to wrap up on Sunday with championship matches and more back draw action on the slate. Play will begin at 9:00 a.m. with doubles competition preceding the remaining singles matches.