Air Force Impressive on First Day of Minnesota Invitational

    Sophomore Samantha Sarkis
    Sophomore Samantha Sarkis

    Sept. 12, 2008

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    The Air Force women's tennis team opened its 2008-09 season Friday with an impressive first day at the Gopher Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. The three-day tournament continues on Saturday at the University of Minnesota.

    Sophomore Sarah Cassman and Samantha Sarkis each won two singles matches Friday, advancing to the semifinals of their flights. Cassman won her first match 6-1, 6-4 over Alyssa Palen of Iowa State in the first round, then defeated Abby Buxton of Nebraska, 7-5, 6-2, in the quarterfinals. Cassman avenged a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Buxton from last season.

    Sarkis, meanwhile, rallied from a set down in each of her matches Friday. She opened with a 1-6, 7-6(2), 10-7 victory over Maria Ring of Nebraska. Then, after spraining her ankle, she downed Tessa Lang of Iowa State, 4-6, 6-4, 10-7.

    "This is one of the best tournaments we have ever played," said Air Force head coach Kim Gidley. "Everyone played really well today and Sammy (Sarkis) showed a lot of toughness pulling out that match with a sprained ankle."

    Sophomore Christen Monreal suffered a tough, three-set loss in the quarterfinals to Whitney Wolf of LSU, 6-4, 5-7, 10-3 after winning her first-round match in three sets.

    In doubles action, Air Force's top duo of senior Christine Abayan and junior Erlyn Rudico saved seven match points but could not overcome Wiveca Swarting and Madeliene Geiberg of Nebraska, 9-8(5) in their first-round match. Monreal teamed with fellow sophomore Katrina Eromin to beat a team from Northern Iowa, 8-5, while Cassman and senior Meghan Kiser won their first-round match, 8-1.



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