HAMDEN, Conn. – Three rounds of doubles action are in the books as the Bobcats women's tennis team hosted players from eight other clubs in the opening day of the 17th annual Quinnipiac University Invitational on Friday afternoon. Senior captain Mary Chupa (Bradenton, Fla.) and freshman Kelsi Oliphant (Calgary, Alberta) led the way for the Bobcats, advancing to the Flight B championship – which will take place tomorrow morning at the QU Outdoor Tennis Courts.
"We had a very successful first day of competition," said head coach Mike Quitko, who has 506 career wins to his name. "This is arguably the most talented field of players we've ever had at the QU Invite. We picked up several quality wins tonight, and had one team advance to the finals and another advance to the semifinals. I'm very pleased with how our girls are playing so early in the season."
Chupa and Oliphant, who along with Ariana Launie (Milton, Mass.) combined to win Flight C at the SHU Doubles Festival last weekend, defeated Sacred Heart's Paige Olson and Haley Dubits, 8-3, in the opening round; and followed with another win over UConn's Natalie Robson and Marie Gargiulo, 8-4, in the quarterfinals. Chupa and Oliphant then made it three straight wins with an 8-4 decision over Hartford's Jessica Galik and Emily Sneddon to advance to the finals. Chupa and Oliphant will take on Providence's Taylor Corder and Amanda Pitocco tomorrow at 8 a.m.
Horton and Young, who claimed Flight A of the SHU Doubles Festival last weekend, advanced to the semifinals of the Main Draw, defeating Navy's Noelle Kaufmann and Mikaela Carlson in an 8-4 win before dominating Seton Hall's Chloe Sher and Rocio Portela Berrios in the quarterfinals, 8-1. Horton and Young saw their unbeaten streak come to a close however, as the tandem suffered their first loss (7-1) of the season by a final count of 8-4 to a team from Army.
Also joining those four with wins in the Main Draw were Jacqueline Raynor (Garden City, N.Y.) and Sophia Dzulynsky (Miramar, Fla.), who cruised past Niagara's Iva Celan and Sarah Hellstern, 8-1, in the opening round of Flight A. It marked their fourth win this season when playing together. However, their run came to an end when Seton Hall's Hannah Liljekvist and Madison Shoemaker upended the tandem in the quarterfinals, 8-2.
Launie and Michelle Dassa (Marlboro, N.J.), along with Nicole Keklik (Stratford, Conn.) and Daniella Reyes (Burr Ridge, Ill.), also took part in the Main Draw but fell in the opening round of Flight B. Keklik and Reyes did however earn their fifth win together in consolation play by defeating a team from Sacred Heart, 8-2.
The 2013 Quinnipiac University Invitational continues tomorrow morning at the QU Outdoor Tennis Courts on Mount Carmel Campus. First serve is set for 8 a.m.
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