| March 24, 2018

W. Tennis: Off to a Rocky Start

Idaho’s women’s tennis team completed a busy week competing in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Regional Championships at New Mexico State.

The Vandals competed in the Mountain Region. The team faced Boise State, Brigham Young, Utah and Nevada.

In doubles competition, sophomore Maria Tavares and junior Lucia Badillos faced off against Air Force’s Jocelle Rudico and TJ Fumagilli. The Air Force duo overcame Tavares and Badillos in a tough 8-5 match. The loss came after a first-round bye and was Idaho’s only doubles match of the tournament.

Badillos continued to play in singles against Northern Colorado’s Courtney Schulte. Badillos won 6-2, 6-1 and advanced to the second round against Southern Utah’s Nini Guensler.

Junior Ana Batiri fell in her first round to Montana State’s Chloe Goyette.

Batiri continued playing in the singles back draw. Starting at the No. 18 slot, she received a bye for the first round. Batiri fought against Cassie Chung of New Mexico State but lost in two 6-0 sets.

Senior Claire Yang was defeated in her first round of play against Fumagilli.

Yang saw additional play in the back draw. She defeated Montana State’s Jessica Brycki 6-0, 6-2 and advanced to the third round. She was handed her second loss by Monika Van De Vondel of Utah State.

Freshman Shio Watabe debuted as a Vandals player in the singles back draw. The Australian native opened with four straight wins. She faced off against Lily-Ana Kreutzer of Northern Colorado. Watabe beat her 6-3, 6-0. She then took care of Utah’s Victoria Robertson 6-4, 6-1.

Her next opponent, Elizabeth Barnickle of Air Force, proved to be more difficult to overcome. Watabe exceled in the first set and won 6-1. Barnickle tried to pull off a late game comeback, but Watabe finished strong, winning 7-5.

Sophomore Marianna Petrei had a different schedule. She competed in ITA Oracle Cup in Malibu, California. Petrei earned the spot after finishing undefeated in Big Sky play and being named Big Sky Conference Player of the Year.

Petrei put up a fight after dropping the first set 0-6 against Tulsa’s Ksenia Lasktutovahe. Her 6-4 victory in the second set tied the match. Petrei lost the tie-breaker 6-4.

Petrei competed in a consolation mixed doubles match with Portland State’s Nathan Boniel. The pair upset Southern California’s Nick Crystal and Denise Starr 6-3. The pair from Southern California were the 10th ranked team of the tournament.

Petrei and Boniel were unable to pull off a second upset and fell 7-6 in a close match to Pepperdine’s Guilherme Hadlich and Luisa Stefani.

The Vandals return to play Nov. 4 in the Gonzaga Invitational in Spokane.

Brandon Hill can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @brandonmtnhill

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