Tara Pajoohi and Joanna Toke, both senior captains, captured titles this past weekend at the New York State Women’s Collegiate Athletic Association Championship in women’s tennis, hosted by Cornell University. Pajoohi won the title in the number two singles flight, defeating second seeded Katy Robinette of Vassar College 7-5, 6-1, and teamed up with Toke to defeat Whitney Dolan and Heather Fulchum of Skidmore College to win the number one doubles flight 8-3. UR placed fourth overall out of a field of 16 competing teams with a score of 28.
“[Tara] has improved her game over her college career and was able to clinch victory,” Head Coach Anna Khvalina said. “She had solid wins throughout the tournament, started the final match a bit nervous but was able to overcome that and win convincingly.”
Pajoohi, who was seeded second in the number two singles bracket, lost only two games in her bracket before defeating Robinette in the finals. In the first round on Friday she swept Amanda Rosario of SUNY New Paltz 6-0, 6-0. Advancing to the quarterfinals on Saturday, Pajoohi easily dispatched Karen Newbury of William Smith College 6-1, 6-1. Facing Jen Sussman of New York University, Pajoohi advanced to the final match versus Robinette on Sunday by beating Sussman 6-2, 6-0.
“I’m very satisfied with my performance over the weekend,” Pajoohi said. “In the first two days I only lost four games and won all my matches with ease. Joanna and I played tough doubles and won relatively easily.”
Toke, who was seeded first in the number one singles bracket, advanced to the finals match by beating Nicole King of SUNY Geneseo 6-0, 6-0, Meghan Carroll of Ithaca College 6-1, 6-0, and number-four seed Whitney Dolan of Skidmore College 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinals. Toke fell
See NYSWCAA, Page 18
in the finals to Lauren Stellato of Union College in a tight 6-4, 6-3 set. Toke and Stellato had met before at the ITA Northeast Regional Championship at William Smith College in September with Toke winning and advancing to the Nationals in Texas. Toke was hurt by the fatigue associated with four straight weeks of traveling and playing in tournaments as well as a pain in her right wrist which affected her play.
On the doubles scene, Toke and Pajoohi advanced to the finals match by beating a team from Rochester Institute of Technology in the first round, Ithaca College in the quarterfinals, and a Union team with Stellato 8-6 in the semifinals to continue to the championships.
Sophomore Jill Ardornetto advanced to the quarterfinals in the third singles event with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Courney Ellis of St. Lawrence University before losing in quarterfinals in a close match to Jen Hume of RIT.
In the sixth singles Tess Baker won 6-4, 6-1 against Union’s Alexandra Valenti but fell to Bianca Nicoletti of New York University in the quarterfinals.
Rounding out UR’s wins at the NYSWCAA Championships were sophomores Nell Aronoff and Jaymi Della, who advanced past the first round in the third doubles bracket, beating an SUNY Elmira squad 8-2. “We are a young team (except for my doubles partner and me) and I feel like they have gained some experience this past year,” said Pajoohi. “I was hoping for them to shine this weekend.”
It has been a long, tiring fall season for the women’s tennis team and its members are looking forward to some rest and recuperation before gearing up for the spring season. “I’m really hoping to go to Nationals in the spring with Joanna for singles and doubles,” said Pajoohi. “Right now, I want to take off some time and rest,” said Toke. “Then I will start thinking about the spring season.”