While the rest of the campus enjoyed the rest of Meliora Weekend, UR?s women?s tennis team won its first-ever New York State Tennis Championships at Cornell University.

Led by sophomore and first-seeded Joanna Toke, the Yellowjackets grabbed four singles titles and two doubles crowns.

Toke won both the No. 1 singles title and the No. 1 doubles title with partner senior Rachel Sandler.

Toke is the first UR player to capture the individual crown at the No. 1 singles and doubles positions.

At No. 1 singles, Toke defeated Union College?s Laura Stelleto, 6-2, 6-4. Stelleto was a well-known foe to Toke. The two had previously greeted each other in ITA play.

In doubles rally, Toke and Sandler joined to crush Vassar College?s Alexis Neider and Becky Shofler, 6-1, 6-1.

?Rachel and Joanna wanted to prove that they had a bad week [at the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association matches],? Khvalina.

?They lost to both Skidmore [College] and Vassar and that cost them the No. 1 seed at States.?

UR?s other individual champions were senior Deepa Popuri at No. 2 singles, senior Rachel Isenberg at No. 5 singles, and sophomore Tara Pajoohi at No. 6 singles.

Pajoohi also paired with freshman Maithili Jha to win the No. 2 doubles as well.

UR wrapped up the three-day tourney with 62 points, 10 ahead of runner-up Vassar.

UR?s team title broke Skidmore?s seven-year streak as team champion.

A deep and talented squad, the Thoroughbreds were also victors of 14 of the last 17 State titles. Aside from Skidmore, UR played other solid squads like Vassar and Union.

There were a total of 16 competitors from New York who participated this year.

This record win by the Yellowjackets marks the third time this season that UR captured a major women?s tennis title.

Three weeks ago, Toke won the Intercollegiate Tennis As-sociation?s Northeast Regional Singles Championship, and the doubles championship with Sandler.

On Oct. 7, the Yellowjackets won the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association title, again beating Skid-more in the semifinals and later Vassar for the championship title.

?We wanted to show that we can win both individually and as a team,? UR head coach Anna Khvalina said. ?The players wanted to prove [the UCAA crown] was not a fluke.?

Wu can be reached at jwu@campustimes.org.



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