Defending an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional title is no easy feat.

Just ask junior Lia Weiner, who did just that this past weekend when she came out on top in the ITA Regional Championships in Geneva, N.Y. for the second year in a row.

‘It was a really exciting win for me since it’s a long, tough tournament,” Weiner, who was seeded third for the tournament, said. ‘I definitely wasn’t sure if I could do it again.”

Weiner defeated Karisse Bendijo of The College of New Jersey, 6-1, 6-2, in the championship match to take the title, which gives her an automatic bid to the ITA Super Bowl of Small College Tennis in Alabama next month.

In the quarterfinals of the Regional tournament, Weiner defeated Felice Trinh of TCNJ and then went on to the semifinals, where she met an old rival, Jackie Shtemberg of TCNJ.

Shtemberg was 13th nationally in the ITA rankings and had given Weiner trouble in the past, but Weiner prevailed with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 win.

‘It was awesome to pull that out since I’ve lost to her in previous years,” Weiner said of Shtemberg. ‘So far, it was the biggest win of my career.”

In doubles action, Weiner and freshman Frances Tseng entered the tournament as a No. 2 seed and advanced to the championship round before falling to the top-seeded Shtemberg and Trinh.

The rest of the ‘Jackets pulled their weight over the weekend as well. Tseng, the second seed, made it to the third round of singles, where she lost to Bendijo, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4.
In the consolation bracket, sophomore Alex Goodman won four consecutive matches before losing to TCNJ’s Christie Pollin in the final, 6-4, 6-2.

Seventh-seeded Goodman and sophomore Danielle Shreck defeated Kaira Ocasio and Joanie Hilton of William Smith College, 8-1, to reach the doubles quarterfinals, where they fell to Shtemberg and Trinh, 8-4.

Sophomore Jamie Bow and Shreck also came away with first-round singles victories. Bow defeated Lindsey Garyn of SUNY New Paltz, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, while Shreck defeated Shannon Murphy of St. Lawrence, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2. They fell in the second round to Joanie Hilton of William Smith, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, and Dani Fancher of Skidmore, 6-3, 6-2, respectively.

The Yellowjackets’ next matchup will be on Tuesday, Oct. 6, when they take on SUNY Geneseo at home. Weiner is optimistic of her team’s chances, given the level they’ve been playing at thus far.

‘Overall, this has definitely been a very successful fall for us,” she said. ‘I’m very proud of everyone on the team.”

Hilliard is a member of the class of 2010.

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