Falcons Open Spring Season at Home This Weekend
Senior Melissa Cecil

Jan. 24, 2013

vs. Louisiana
Jan. 26, 2013, 3 p.m.
USAFA, Colo.
vs. Colorado
Jan. 27, 2013, 3 p.m.
USAFA, Colo.

The Air Force women’s tennis team opens its 2013 spring season this weekend with a pair of matches at the Academy. The Falcons will face the University of Louisiana at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 and the University of Colorado at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27.

Air Force head coach Kim Gidley is in her 15th season at the helm of Air Force’s women’s tennis program. The first civilian head coach in the history of the program, Gidley became the winningest coach in the history of the program in 2003 with her 76th victory. She recorded her 100th career victory during the 2005-06 season and enters the spring campaign with a 186-195 career record.
The Air Force women’s tennis team has enjoyed plenty of success the last three years, and this fall has been no exception. Following the 2012 fall season, every player on the team owns a winning singles record and all four doubles teams are above .500.

The fall campaign began with a bang as seniors Melissa Cecil and Hannah Dake won the top doubles flight at the Gopher Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. The duo won four straight matches, including an 8-3 victory over Klara Supejova and Marija Toncheva of Eastern Michigan, 8-3, in the final. In singles play, sophomore Tran finished third in the top flight after beating Morven McColloch of Iowa, 6-2, 6-1.



The Falcons then won a pair of dual matches at home, defeating Montana State-Billings and Texas- Permian Basin each by a resounding 7-0 score. Following those matches, Cecil and Dake traveled to Los Angeles, Calif., to compete in the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. The duo improved to 7-0 with a convincing 8-1 victory over Caroline Wegner and Kelly Gray of Memphis in prequalifying round of 32.

Unfortunately, their tournament ended in the next round when they fell to Elisha Gabb and Cierra Gaytan-Lewis of Missouri, 8-2.
The first weekend in October, Air Force hosted its own USAFA Invitational with 13 teams traveling to the Academy for the three-day tournament. Despite playing much of the first two days of the tournament indoors due to inclement weather, the tournament completed on schedule.

Junior Tasha Hueffner won her singles flight with three straight victories, including wins over Tiffany Filipovich of South Dakota State, 6-3, 6-1 in the semis and Matti Sperry of Colorado, 6-1, 6-1, in the title match. In doubles, Tran and freshman Mary Meyers won their flight with a perfect 3-0 record. They defeated Charlotte Koning and Lize Leenknecht of Washington State, 8-5, in the semis, then downed Carla Manzi and Erin Sanders of Colorado by the same score in the finals.

In addition, Cecil and Dake finished second in the top doubles flight. They took an 8-3 decision from Julyette Steur and Mazy Watrous of Colorado in the semis, but fell in the finals to Nikki Sanders and Elizabeth Ullathorne of Texas Tech, 8-3.

Later that month, the Falcons competed at the ITA Mountain Region Championships in Las Vegas. Cecil and Dake fell in the second round of the doubles draw, as did senior Christine Molina and sophomore Natasha Rizvi.

The fall season concluded at the Panther Invitational, hosted by Florida International University, in Miami, Fla. Cecil and Dake captured their second doubles title of the fall season by defeating teammates Christine Molina and Natasha Rizvi, 8-3, in the finals of the top doubles flight.

Cecil and Dake advanced to the finals with an exciting 9-8 victory over Margarita Sadovnikova and Marta Burek of Youngstown State Saturday morning in the semifinals. Meanwhile, Molina and Rizvi won their semifinal match, 8-3, over Paola Rodriguez and Courtney Ernest of Ball State.

In singles play, Rizvi captured the #3 draw title with a come from behind 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Akemi Maehama of Barry University, while Meyers downed teammate Marcelli Magday to win the #4 draw.

Air Force travels to the Nort Mwest to face Gonzaga on Feb. 2 and Oregon on Feb. 3.

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