Bulls capture first victory of the season
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
After a below-average performance in the Cornell Invitational, the women’s tennis team stepped up and crushed Big Four rival Niagara – securing its first win in its first contest of the year.
The Bulls (1-0) came away with a dominant 7-0 victory when they hosted the Purple Eagles (0-1) this Saturday at the University Tennis Center.
“I think we played well against Niagara,” said junior Tanvi Shah. “We have a new team with two new people. We’re just starting to get together, so it’s going to be good for the rest of the year.”
The Bulls got off to a hot start by sweeping the doubles matches. Shah and junior Miranda Podlas led the duos that won by a combined 24-3 score in the sweep. Juniors Marta Stoyanova and Anamaria Candanoza produced an 8-0 shutout as the third doubles team.
The warm-up time before the singles matches was cut short due to a rain delay, but the Bulls remained focus for the final stages of the contest.
Junior Anamaria Candanoza and sophomore Laura Fernandez shut out their fifth and sixth singles opponents, 6-0, 6-0. Shah, the team’s No. 1 singles player who was named to the Mid-American Conference’s first team last year, won her first match of the season, 6-0, 6-1, after going 0-2 in the team’s first matches of the season in the Cornell Invitational.
Podlas won, 6-1, 6-2. She is now 5-1 on the season after going 4-1 in the Cornell Invitational.
The Bulls have a new face on the squad this year – freshman Gopkia Kapoor started in second singles and won the first match of her collegiate career, 6-2, 6-2.
“I think with the addition of some new people that they have, the team is stronger than it was last year,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director Kathy Twist, who coached the team the past 16 years until this season. “The young ladies that came in, like Laura Fernandez and Gopkia Kapoor, have a little more experience. They played internationally. I think that experience is going to translate into a lot more wins for us this semester.”
In total, the Bulls pulverized the Purple Eagles, winning 72 of the 88 games played.
The team is hoping to improve for the MAC championships with the addition of two newcomers and a new head coach.
A new coach means new techniques.
“We’re doing more conditioning now,” Shah said. “It’s important to condition because it’ll transfer to us lasting longer on the court.”
The Bulls’ next contest will have to wait a few weeks. They’ll be playing in the Fall ITA Regional Championships on Oct. 19-23 in West Point, N.Y.