Courtesy of UR Athletics

The women’s stennis team struggled in its final competition of the season this past weekend at the New York State Division III Women’s Tennis Championships, held Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12 in Ithaca, N.Y.

The tournament’s format was unique, with separate draws for each of the six singles and three doubles positions, leading to a number of close matches throughout the event as every draw was filled with players of similar levels of experience.

In the first day of competition, three singles players for UR won their match-ups. Senior captain Janice Zhao, sophomore Molly Goodman, and freshman Lauren Zickar all advanced at second, third, and fourth singles, respectively.

“Being a freshman, it was a great experience to play in such big tournament and represent my school,” Zickar said.

Zickar’s win came against junior Catie Nonenmacher of St. John Fisher College, who she took down in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. But the freshman’s advancement to the quarterfinals against Rachel Plevinsky of Skidmore College proved fatal. Plevinsky handily defeated Zickar 6-1, 6-2.

Goodman had similar success on the first day of competition, crushing St. John Fisher’s Rosalie O’Brien in a 6-0, 6-0 whitewashing. Unfortunately for the ‘Jackets, Goodman could not repeat her winning ways on day two, when she was defeated in a tight match against RIT’s Sara Bjork, who prevailed 6-4, 4-6, and 10-1.

In the second singles bracket, Zhao earned a come-from-behind victory in the first round. She lost the first set 6-4 to RIT’s Elizabeth McGrail, but she did raise her level of play enough so to take the second set 6-1. Zhao carried this momentum into the decisive super-tiebreaker, cruising toa 10-1 victory and securing a spot in the quarterfinals.

The senior’s run ended the next day when New York University’s Allison Wang, the bracket’s top seed, knocked out Zhao 6-4, 6-1.

In doubles action, Zickar and Zhao won their first match in the second draw 8-0 over St. John Fisher before bowing out to the top seeds from Vassar College in an 8-1 quarterfinal loss.

UR’s other competitors in the singles tournament, sophomore Christine Ho and freshmen Darby McCall and Mariana Flores Kim, lost in the opening rounds of the first, fifth, and sixth singles draws, respectively.

In doubles, Goodman and Ho lost in the first round of the top draw, and McCall and junior Emily DePerrior dropped their match in the third doubles bracket.

Still, the team left the competition with an optimistic attitude to go into the offseason.

“With our positive results this past weekend, we are looking forward to a strong season in the spring,” Zickar said. “We also had many other strong performances in the fall in the other tournaments and dual matches.”

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