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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Bulls face tough competition at Cornell

The women's tennis team showed flashes of excellence in the previous weekend's season opener.

Buffalo traveled to Ithaca, N.Y. for the Cornell Invitational this past weekend, and despite the stiff competition they faced, the Bulls found themselves on the winning end of a majority of their matches.

"I think the whole team performed well," said head coach Kathy Twist. "A lot of [players] were put in tougher competition because I wanted to see what that brings out [in the athletes]."

Senior Diana Popescu led the team in victories, even while playing in the highly competitive A flight singles matches.

Popescu defeated her first opponent in straight sets (6-0, 6-2). She maintained her momentum throughout the quarterfinals and semifinals and beat both of her opponents in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-1. Her run singles ended when she fell in the finals to Binghamton's Jillian Santos (6-3, 6-3).

Senior Aleksandra Petrova was the second Buffalo player in the A flight bracket. She was ousted in her first match by Santos as well (7-6 (11-9), 3-6, 10-4). Petrova finished the tournament with an 8-3 win in the consolation round.

The Bulls' No. 1 team of Petrova and Popescu teamed up in the A flight doubles bracket. The duo won 8-5 over a Cornell tandem in the quarterfinals, but were thwarted by the Bearcats pair in a close 9-7 decision in the semifinals.

In the B singles, freshman Dominica Nemec battled her St. Bonaventure opponent to a three-set victory (6-2, 2-6, 10-3). The No. 2 ranked freshman was the only Bull to win in the B flight singles on the first day.

The second day went better for the Bulls B flight players as they placed two competitors in the consolation finals. Sophomore Kira Golenko received a bye to the consolation semifinals, but was knocked out Yulia Smirnova from Binghamton, 8-3.

Golenko's teammate, freshman Marta Stoyanova, defeated Colgate's Jenn Marquet, 8-3. She received a bye into the semifinals where she topped Maria Barousse, 8-2, to set up an all-Bulls final in the consolation bracket.

Golenko won the matchup to claim the B flight over teammate Stoyanova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.

Freshman Miranda Podlas stood out in her matches. After receiving a bye in the first day, Podlas bested two Cornell opponents. She won 6-1, 6-0, in her first match and then came from behind to take her second match (0-6, 6-3, 12-10). Her inexperience caught up with her when she fell to Cornell's Geraldine Leong, 6-3, 6-4 in the finals.

"For a freshman to make it to the finals and play well is pretty good," Twist said. "A lot of times they have to work through their nerves to make it through their first tournament."

The Bulls are off until Oct. 9 when they travel to Flushing, N.Y. to compete in the National Tennis Center Invite.


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