Sept. 27, 2013
The Air Force women’s tennis team opened the 2013 USAFA Invitational Friday in chilly but dry weather at the Academy. The Falcons had a successful day, sending two doubles teams to the semifinals of the top flight and winning seven of nine singles matches.
Junior Tiffany Tran and freshman Jocelle Rudico posted a pair of exciting doubles victories in the top flight on Friday. In the first round, they rallied from a 7-3 deficit to beat Irinka Toidze and Kaja Mrgole of West Virginia 8-7(4). The Falcon duo then rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the tiebreaker to defeat Jessica Parizher and Silviya Zhelyazkova of Wyoming, 8-7(6), in the quarterfinals. Tran and Rudico will face Dominique Dulski and Emily Olivier of New Mexico in the semis on Saturday.
In the top half of the “A” doubles flight, juniors Natasha Rizvi and Marcelli Magday extended their winning streak to eight matches with a pair of victories on Friday. They defeated Steph Catlin and Beth Coton of Northern Colorado, 8-4, in the first round, then beat Natalie Heffron and Adriana Wojakowska of Mountain West-rival Colorado State, 8-1, in the quarterfinals. Rizvi and Magday will face Hailey Barrett and Ikttesh Chahal of West Virginia in the semis.
Sophomore Mary Meyers and freshman Hannah Garcia-Park also won their first-round match in the “A” flight, beating Miranda Podlas and Tanvi Shah of Buffalo, 8-6, before falling to Dulski and Olivier, 8-3 in the quarterfinals. In the “B” doubles flight, the twin-sister team of freshmen Chloe and Lily Forlini won their first match in exciting fashion, 8-7(5), over Marissa Baca and Laura Wehner but lost in the second round. Senior Anastasia Hueffner and freshman Tracy Landram earned a bye in the first round and lost in the second round, 8-4, to UNC’s team of Chrissie Hoolahan and Courtney Schulte.
In singles, Tran and Rizvi each won easily in the first round of the “A” flight. Tran defeated Wojakowska of Colorado State, 6-1, 6-1, while Rizvi beat WVU’s Chahal, 6-2, 6-1. Magday also posted a straight-set victory on Friday, defeating CSU’s Kwynn Ecton, 6-2, 6-0 in the “C” flight, while Rudico, Garcia-Park, Lily Forlini and Landram all won in the round-robin “D” flight. Landram and Buffalo’s margarita Kotok produced the match of the day as Landram saved nine match points in the third set before defeating Kotok, 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(1) in a three-hour marathon.
“I loved our energy in doubles, it made it fun for the fans and the players,” said Air Force head coach Kim Gidley. “The energy all day set the tone for comebacks. We got some really great play by our upperclassmen and our freshmen battled in several of the singles matches. (Tracy) Landram had the match of the day by saving 9 match points which is pretty much unheard of in tennis. It just shows once again what an amazing group of fighters this team is made of.”
The tournament resumes on Saturday morning at 9 am with one doubles round and two singles rounds. Once again, the tournament is open and free to the public.