“It’s a beautiful day to watch tennis,” Richard Perry said on Sunday, as he cheered on his daughter, freshman Alexa Perry, who played beneath bright blue, sunny skies.Indeed, Sunday’s weather was perfect for tennis, and UR’s opponent, Ithaca College, capitalized on the favorable conditions, defeating UR 6-3.UR freshmen Colleen Cross, Shivani Kumar and Alexa Perry all won their matches at one, two and three singles, respectively. Cross displayed powerful groundstrokes and crafty volleys at the net during her 6-2, 6-1 win against Ithaca’s top singles player, Narguess Arjomand.At fifth singles, junior Tessa Baker put up a good fight but eventually lost to Ithaca’s Megan Keenan.”Tessa really battled out there,” Coach Anna Khvalina said. “It takes a tough loss sometimes before you can win a close match like that. She played her heart out today.”Rochester’s doubles went 0-3, although the third doubles team had match points but failed to convert them to wins.”Doubles really cost us the match,” Khvalina said. “Freshmen are learning how important doubles are, and it should become our strength as we work on our doubles play.”This weekend marked the start of the season for UR women’s tennis. The team this year is very young, with four freshmen playing in the top six positions, with the top three singles spots currently being played by freshmen.UR traveled to Brockport College for their first match of the season on Friday, winning 7-2. Cross and Perry won at No. 1 doubles 8-0. Kumar and junior Jaymi Della won at number two doubles and freshmen Erica Rosenthal and Vera Yakovchenko won at No. 3 doubles.Four freshmen had a strong showing in their first college matches at No. 1, 2, 4 and 6 singles. Perry did not lose a game, going 8-0 and 6-0, 6-0 in her matches, while sophomore Maya Gurme had a very close match at No. 5 singles but lost 12-10 in the superbreaker after coming from a set deficit.All in all, Coach Khvalina has great expectations for her young team. “I’m expecting us to do better than last year,” Khvalina said. As they gain more match experience, the coach hopes that her team will continue improving into their spring season.UR will next compete at the individual Intercollegiate Tennis Association regionals next weekend at William Smith College. Ogorek can be reached at aogorek@campustimes.org.

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