Coming off of phenomenal Intercollegiate Tennis Association play, the women?s tennis team continued their winning streak by capturing the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association championship with a 5-3 win over Vassar College Sunday.

Rochester began in the first round with a blowout of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 5-0 in singles play.

Combined, the Yellowjackets slammed their way to 60 game wins while dropping only 13 ? all winning in straight sets.

The women then advanced to the quarterfinal match-up against Skidmore College.

Despite the easy start, the Yellowjackets were up to a mightier foe and the team elected to submit three doubles pairs in the battle.

UR?s first-seeded sophomore Joanna Toke led the squad in the singles, winning 6-1, 6-0, against Skidmore?s Dawn Penniston. Toke?s doubles partner, third-seeded senior Rachel Sandler, grabbed the second win for the team by defeating Karlene Kunigiel in three sets, bouncing back, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Fourth-seeded Maithili Jha defeated Heather Fuleihan 6-4, 6-2 while sixth-seeded Tara Pajoohi wrapped up the line of victories in a nail-biting win over Whitney Dolan 6-0, 6-7, 7-6.

Despite the strong output, UR?s second-seeded senior Deepa Popuri and fourth-seeded Rachel Isenberg both dropped their matches against Skidmore in straight sets ? 6-1, 6-3 for Popuri, and 6-4, 6-1 for Isenberg.

The two defeats pushed Skidmore up in the running for the championship play as UR?s lead was pushed to 4-2 heading into doubles play.

ITA doubles champs and first-seeded Toke and Sandler disappointedly lost to Kunigiel and Penniston 8-6 to start. But UR?s second-seeded Jha and Pajeshi duo held up for the Yellowjackets, defeating their opponents 8-6 and giving UR a shot at the UCAA title.

Vassar College was no match for UR compared to Skidmore. Toke led the squad with a solid 6-2, 6-0 victory over Alexis Neider. Popuri, Isenberg and Pajoohi continued the streak with their singles wins in straight sets, while the Jha-Pajoohi team finished victorious once again in doubles play, defeating Vassar?s second-seeded doubles pair with relative ease, 8-4.

UR grabbed the UCAA in the end, winning 5-3.

This is UR?s first UCAA women?s tennis team championship title. The Yellowjackets will attempt to continue success as they rally in the New York State Championships this weekend.

Wu can be reached at jwu@campustimes.org.



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