Panthers look to serve it up at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southeast Regionals

By: Isaias Fernandez/Contributing Writer

This upcoming weekend, Oct. 18-20, the women’s tennis team will travel to Atlanta and take part in the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southeast Regional Tournament. The host school this year will be Georgia Tech University and the tournament will be held at the Byers Tennis Complex.

The Panthers are entering this tournament after a lackluster effort at the Bedford Cup in Jacksonville last weekend. The team finished the tournament 5-7 in singles play and 4-3 in doubles. Even though they played some tough competition, the Panthers know they will have to play better than they did last weekend to come out on top.

Last weekend, junior Carlotta Orlando went 0-2, but faced tough competition with Peggy Porter of the University of Florida, who ended up winning her draw.

Freshman Nerma Caluk, on the other side, played fairly well, going 2-1 and reaching the semis in her draw before falling 6-2 and 6-4, to the eventual champion Gabby Castenada from Florida State University.

Sophomore Nina Nagode went 1-2 for the weekend and reached the semifinals of the consolation portion of her draw, where she lost 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, against Daniela Schippert from FSU.

Sophomore Kaitlin Brozovich went 2-2 and reached the final of the consolation portion of her draw. Brozovich fell to Luise Intert from the host school, University of North Florida, with a score of 7-5 and 6-3.

In doubles play, Caluk and Nagode went for an overall 3-1 and won the consolation finals of their draw against Yukako Noi and Lana Rush from FSU.

The tandem of Orlando and Brozovich did not do as well. They went 1-2 for the weekend in doubles play and lost in the first round against the eventual doubles champions from the University of Miami, Sinead Lohan and Wendy Zhang.

Last year’s ITA Southeast Regional singles winner was junior Silvia Garcia from the University of Georgia. Garcia defeated Alex Cercone from the UF.

In doubles, the champions at last year’s tournament where Kendal Woodard and Megan Kurey from GTU. They defeated Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase from UGA in the final.

This weekend, the Panthers face opposition mainly from Florida and Georgia as they compete against the UF, FSU, GTU, UM, Florida Gulf Coast and more.

The Panthers will have to play their hearts out this weekend, as this region is one of the toughest in the nation and produces very competitive talent.

For example, the UG has produced All-SEC players in the past four years. Garcia will be someone the Panthers will have to face with caution, given her experience in last year’s tournament.

The team will need to depend on experience from veteran players, such as Orlando, as they confront difficult situations in a hostile environment. A problem with the Panthers this year, continuing from the beginning of last year, has been squandered leads late in sets and failure to close-out games.

In order for them to be successful this week, they will need poise and leadership, and someone has to step up.

The Panthers are looking forward to impress other schools at this weekend’s tournament. Results will be available at the conclusion of the tournament.


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