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Tennis Scores Eight Wins on Day One at Cornell

Sophomore Hannah Liljekvist was one of five Pirates to advance in singles play on Friday

Jan. 25, 2014

ITHACA, N.Y. – It was a strong start to the spring season for the Seton Hall tennis team on day one of the Cornell Winter Invitational as the Pirates recorded a victory in eight of the 12 matches in which they competed; including five wins on the singles court and an additional three in doubles.

Four of those victories came in the top flight of competition, highlighted by a group of three Pirates who advanced to the quarterfinals of the A singles flight.

Senior Chloe Sher (Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong) made quick work of Niagara’s Ashley Ta in the first round, opening her spring ledger with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph. She will take on Della Taylor of Army later today for a chance to play in the semifinals.

Sophomores Julia Keenan (Greenland, N.H.) and Hannah Liljekvist (Djursholm, Sweden) each powered their way to spot in the final eight by earning a three-set victory of the comeback variety.

Up against Sarah Kohtz of Binghamton, Liljekvist fell in an early hole after dropping the first set, 1-6. She bounced back to double up Kohtz in the second, 6-3, and went on to outlast the Binghamton sophomore in the tiebreak, 10-6.

Keenan scored a 6-3 second set victory after falling in the first, 2-6, to Gabby Spindler (Army) and went on to cruise in the decisive set to take a 2-6, 6-3, 10-2 win. Keenan will take on Ryann Young of hosts Cornell in the quarters while Liljekvist draws Army’s Jamila Paul.

Classmate Alex Landert (Naples, Fla.) was one of two Pirates who advanced in straight sets on Friday, as she ousted Maria Ortiz of Niagara with a 7-5, 6-2 win in the first round of B flight singles competition. Junior Madison Shoemaker (Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia) added to her team-leading win total for the year by rallying to close out a three set victory over Taler Brazell of Army. After dropping only one game in the first set, Shoemaker fell in the second, 3-6. The junior went on to pick up her 10th overall win of the year by prevailing 10-5 in the third.

Landert will play Lauren Frazier (Cornell) in the quarterfinals while Shoemaker draws Army’s Nana Porter. With a pair of victories, the two will meet in the semifinals.

In doubles competiton, Sher and Rocio Portela (Demetrio Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) easily moved into the semifinals of the A flight with a 6-2 result over Katya Medianik and Alexis Tashiro of Binghamton. The ninth-ranked duo in the Northeast region, Sher and Portela are slated to play the pair of Cusick/D’Ascenzo (Cornell) in the semis.

The Hall also moved forward following both of its B flight doubles matches as Keenan and Landert teamed to down the Army duo of Hayley/Porter by a score of 7-6 (4). In the lower portion of the bracket, junior Anna Guryanova (Moscow, Russia) and Julie Martiny (Brussels, Belgium) dispatched of the mixed team of Kristen Soeder (Binghamton) and Jenna McCune (Niagara) by a 6-1 margin.

The B doubles semifinals will feature two showdowns between tandems representing Seton Hall and Army as Keenan and Landert will face Illiev/Riney while Guryanova and Martiny will go head-to-head with  Lorenzini/O’Connor.

Play will continue from Cornell on Saturday on day two of the three day tournament. A full recap wll be made available on SHUPirates.com.