Falcons Impressive at USAFA Invitational
Oct. 3, 2008
The Air Force women's tennis team opened the 2008 USAFA Invitational Friday with some impressive performances. Senior Meghan Kiser, junior Erlyn Rudico and freshman Tahlia Smoke will each play in the semifinals of her flight on Saturday.
Kiser claimed a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Jill Kappel of Northern Colorado, then beat Lauren Mulhern of Colorado State, 6-4, 6-4, in the quarterfinals of the "Blue" flight. Smoke, meanwhile, downed Christiane Pheil of Colorado, 6-3, 6-1 after receiving a bye in the first round of the same flight. Rudico won both of her singles matches on Friday in the "White" flight, defeating Mikele Smith of Denver, 6-4, 6-1, then disposing of Hannah LaForest of Northern Colorado, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
Other Falcons to post victories on Friday included senior Christine Abayan, who beat Rebecca Berger of Wyoming, 6-3, 6-2, in the first round of the "Falcon" flight, the top flight, before falling to Alexandra Kichoutkin of Tulsa, 6-1, 6-3 in the quarters.
Freshman Shannon Young, also playing in the "Blue" flight, won her first-round match over Kirsten Stople of Colorado State, 6-4, 6-1, before falling to Anastasia Erofeeva of Tulsa, 0-6, 6-1, 6-2.
"I was really pleased with our leadership today, especially from Meghan Kiser, Erlyn Rudico and Tahlia Smoke," said Air Force head coach Kim Gidley. "All three stepped up their games to reach the semis of their flight. In doubles, we are still looking for combinations that work well together and we have a lot of options. Overall, we are making strides with what we are doing and I think it will pay off big in the spring."
In doubles action, Smoke paired with fellow freshman Allie Chermel to claim Air Force's only first-round victory, defeating the team of Manar Al-Jazzaf of Colorado State and Luiza Xavier of Northern Colorado, 8-5. The Falcon duo lost in the quarterfinals to Kichoutkin and Erofeeva of Tulsa, 8-6.
The tournament resumes Saturday morning at 8 a.m.