After more than a month since their last competitive outing at Princeton, select members of women’s tennis were eager to take on some of the most talented college players in the region over the weekend.
Four players made the trip to West Point for the 2019 Northeast Regional Championships. Beginning on Oct. 17, the Red embarked on a tremendous journey all throughout the tournament.
Sophomore Maria Adiaconitei kicked it off for Cornell in the qualifying bracket, first squaring off against University of Connecticut’s Denise Lai. The sophomore overwhelmed her opponent and showed no signs of fall rust after handily winning the match 6-1, 6-1. In the next round, with a spot in the main draw on the line, Adiaconitei did not disappoint while earning her spot in the process. She gutted out a 6-4, 6-3 win against Gabriella Akoypan of SUNY Buffalo.
On the other end of the qualifying bracket, freshman Ashley Huang looked to make a name for herself early in her Cornell tennis career. Like her teammate, she played strong in her first round match defeating Penn’s Gibson Thomas 6-2, 6-2. In the second round, she battled St. John’s Najah Dawson in a three-set rollercoaster of a match. In the end, the Cornellian prevailed 6-3, 2-6, 10-5.
Huang used her momentum to roll into the main draw where she won her third singles match of the tournament against Erin Chratian of Rhode Island. After dropping the first set, she was able to turn it around, finishing strong with a final score of 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Surpassing the qualifying round entirely, sophomore Valerie Ho squared off against Tiffani Tehopil in round one of the main draw. The Cornell sophomore handed the La Salle native an overwhelming defeat by a score of 6-1, 6-1. After her great victory, she faced a familiar Ivy League foe in Harvard’s Natasha Gonzalez in round two. The Harvard prospect was too much for Ho as she lost 6-2, 6-4 in the contest.
Adding onto a strong singles showing, the Red also saw a promising doubles performance out of its two teams. Adiaconitei and sophomore Katherine Nguyen teamed up to take on Lehigh’s Sibel Can and Paula Gonzalez in the first round of the main draw. Behind a strong service a net play game, the Cornell duo defeated their opponents by a score of 8-4. The pair’s tournament would end in the next round after an 8-5 loss to Buffalo sent them home.
Huang and Ho joined forces on the other side of the doubles bracket. They were able to win their first round match after a close, back-and-forth contest between Julia Migliorini and Katie Mulvey of Providence. The match ended up being decided in a timebreak where the Red prevailed 8-7 (4).
After gaining some crucial playing experience, Cornell will wait another week before heading to Harvard on Nov. 1 for its annual invitational tournament. It will be the team’s last competition before dual matches start up in January.