Over the weekend, the UR women’s tennis team competed in the Wilson Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northeast Regional Championships. The Championships were hosted by William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y. UR had five singles players and three doubles teams in the draw. The team competed very well with other participating schools and even had a player take the singles championship.

Head coach Matt Nielsen was very happy with the teams’ play.

‘Overall, the team competed well,” Nielsen said. ‘The freshmen gained valuable experience from their matches.”

Sophomore Lia Weiner shined in the tournament, beating six opponents over the course of three days to win in the singles division. Weiner, the first seed, won the first five of her six matches in straight sets. In her opening match, she beat her opponent from St. Lawrence University, 6-0, 6-1.

She beat her opponent from Rochester Institute of Technology, 6-1, 6-1, and breezed into the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-2 win. The semi-final match was the first time that Weiner saw tough competition, taking down a player from Skidmore College, 6-4, 6-4.

In the finals, Weiner competed against Danika Robinson from Skidmore College and gave up her first set of the tournament. But Weiner proved that she was worthy of her No. 1 seed and won the match and the championship, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Weiner’s win earned her an invitation to the 2008 ITA National Small College Championships held Oct. 16-19.

The Championships will take place at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala. The event includes the eight regional champions from Division II, Division III, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes and junior colleges in both singles and doubles. Over the course of the tournament, a winner from each of the brackets will be decided and then will compete to determine an overall champion.

Other players from UR competing in the tournament included freshman Alex Goodman, who ended up in the finals of the consolation round but lost in a close 5-8 match.
Freshmen Jamie Bow and Danielle Shreck both won a match in the consolation draw.
Sophomore Elana Polivy lost a tough first round match, 3-6, 4-6, but then made it to the quarterfinals of the consolation draw.

In doubles play, Goodman and senior captain Melinda Beckmann did the best of all three UR teams.

The pair won their first match against a Hamilton College team, 8-3, but were then defeated in the next round by the No. 6 seed in the tournament.

Bow and sophomore Nisha Javeri came up just short in the opening round, losing 6-8 to the No. 7 seed.

The ‘Jackets also faced crosstown rival Nazareth College on Tuesday afternoon and used the momentum from ITAs to crush the Golden Flyers 9-0.

All but one of the singles players defeated their opponents in straight sets. Weiner was again dominant playing at the No. 1 spot. She cruised by Nazareth’s Rachel Leonard, winning 6-1, 6-4.

Sophomore Diane Samuels battled past her opponent in a back-and-forth match at the No. 3 singles spot. Samuels eventually prevailed 7-5, 6-4.

The doubles teams were also tough against the Flyers. At the No. 1 doubles position, Weiner and Polivy fended off their opponent to take the match, 8-6.

The No. 2 team of Samuels and Beckmann were solid, not dropping a game in an 8-0 sweep of their Nazareth opposites.

Last year against the Flyers, UR was also very successful, winning the match-up 8-1.
The team’s next and final stop of the fall season will be the New York State Championships in Ithaca, N.Y. on Oct. 16. The Championships will be hosted by Cornell University.
The ‘Jackets pick up again in February in preparation for its true season in the spring.
UR currently sits at 3-0 in dual meets this season and will look to build off of that momentum when it faces tough University Athletic Association competition in March.

Belonga is a member of the class of 2010.

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