Oregon women’s tennis end ITA Northwest Regionals with historic win
Powerhouse duo senior Alyssa Tobita and junior Shweta Sangwan led Oregon women’s tennis into the ITA Northwest Regional Championships in Stanford as the top seeds and proved their ranking by the end of the weekend.
With a bye in the first round after earning the No. 2 seed overall in the singles bracket, Tobita advanced to the next round with a 6-1, 6-1 win over UC Davis’ Nikita Pradeep.
Sangwan entered the tournament as the No. 9 seed, starting off with a sweep over Sacramento State’s Caroline Chwernyestsky 6-0, 6-1, followed by another victory in the round of 32 with a 6-1, 6-3 record over Cal Poly’s Susanne Boyden.
Sophomore Julia Eshet came to California with a 6-0 streak at the Husky Invitational, hoping to exceed her run in last year’s regionals. She started off with a 6-4, 6-3 win in the opening match, followed by another 6-2, 6-2 win against Gonzaga’s Abigail Bourguignon.
Both Oregon double teams advance to Friday’s round of 32. Joining them were three of the six Oregon singles players who achieved first round victories.
Rifanti Kahfiani and Julia Eshet were victorious 8-3 over Cal Poly’s Grace Olyphamy and Milly Reed, while Nia Rose and Daniela Nasser followed with an 8-2 win against Kali McCollister and Audrey Scott of Seattle.
Freshman Paiton Wagner ended Friday with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep over Seattle’s Audrey Scott; however, she fell short to St. Mary’s Kareena Maji in a 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-2 match.
In the round of 64, Kahfiani gained a 6-3, 6-1 decision to Seattle’s Hannah Gianan, but lossed to Rylee Braeden of Eastern Washington 6-4, 6-1. Nasser had a similar performance, with a victory over USF’s Sanna Dos Santos in open singles play, 6-2, 6-2 though fell short to Portland’s Radina Dimitrova 6-4, 7-5.
All three of Oregon’s doubles pairs advanced to Friday’s sweet sixteen round, while the singles suffered three-set shortages.
Third-seed duo Tobita and Sangwan kicked things off with a sweep over St. Mary’s Emma Crister and Karen Maji 8-2. Rose and Nasser pulled through with a close win against UC Davis’ Lani Rae Green and Isabella von Ebbe 8-6. Eshet and Kahfiani surpassed Pacific’s Karina Vyrlan and Mayan Sela 8-3.
Singles players faced losses to Stanford and UC Berkeley. Tobita fell short to sweet 16 Stanford’s Janice Shin 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, followed by Sangwan’s loss to No. 1 seed Melissa Lord 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Eshet shared a similar result against No. 9 seed UC Berkeley’s Anna Bright 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Rose and Nasser started their opening match Saturday with victory 8-7(6) against No. 5 seed Madison Clarke and Maddie Pothodd; however, they fell short to the following match against No. 4 seed Lampl and Lord 8-2.
Eshet and Kahfiani suffered a loss to top-seed duo Olivia Hauger and Karla Popovic in the round of 16 8-4.
Sangwan and Tobita certainly made their mark going into day three, following their sweet sixteen success, the pair went into Saturday’s competition becoming Oregon’s first-ever doubles team to advance to the tournament’s semifinals. With back-to-back sweeps, Sangwan and Tobita defeated USF’s Alexa Meyer and Anna Sokiran 8-1 followed by an 8-0 triumph over Alexandra Bourgiognon and Haruna Tsuruta of Gonzaga.
“Alyssa and Shweta played a very clean match today and accomplished another first for our program.” head coach Alison Silverio said. “Their styles compliment each other and their chemistry is superb. It will be business as usual tomorrow.”
The duo was able to carry their success over to Monday’s championship round as they faced No. 1 overall seed Olivia Hauger and Karla Popovic in the final matchup. Although the duo from California started out with a 6-4 first-set win, Tobita and Sangwan were able to surpass them and win the match 4-6, 6-4, 1-0(6). With this win under their belt, Tobita and Sangwan earned the regional doubles title for the first time in Oregon women’s tennis history.
While the winning pair has an automatic bid to the ITA Fall Nationals on Nov. 1, the rest of the team will look forward to the Jack Kramer Invitational Nov. 2 in Rolling Hills, California.
Follow Daphne Martin on Twitter @daaphnemaartin
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