WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Quinnipiac University women's tennis team saw two pairings advance to the semifinals of Main Draw Doubles on Friday afternoon, as the Bobcats opened competition in the 2013 Army Invitational at the Malek Tennis Courts in West Point, N.Y. The annual tournament features players from 13 different teams, including the University of Illinois and fellow MAAC affiliates Marist and Saint Peter's.
"We always enjoy coming to West Point to compete in the Army Invitational," said head coach Mike Quitko, who is in his 23rd year at the helm of the program. "It's a great tournament with some really talented athletes. We had a tremendous first day with two of our doubles teams advancing to the semifinals."
Both Quinnipiac teams in Flight A survived after day one and serve as two of the final four teams of the bracket. After earning a bye in the first round, Jacqueline Raynor (Garden City, N.Y.) and Sophia Dzulynsky (Miramar, Fla.) defeated Army's tandem of Taler Brazell and Eva Sung, 8-4, in the round of 16; and then advanced to the semifinals with an 8-2 win over Masha Krachok and Ksenija Tihomirova of longstanding rival Fairleigh Dickinson. Raynor and Dzulynsky improved to 5-3 when paired together this year.
In the bottom half of the flight, Rachel Horton (Stamford, Conn.) and Sydney Young (Austin, Texas) added another Quinnipiac team into the semifinals with three wins on the day. Horton and Young defeated Albany's pairing of Cheryl Kukkonen and Kirsten Scott, 8-5, in the round of 32; followed by an 8-4 win over Army's Margaret Iliev and Carolyn Pitman in the round of 16; and then advanced to the semifinals with an 8-6 win over Jackie Altan Sarnai and Adesuwa Osabouhian of Stony Brook. Horton and Young garnered their 10th win together, improving to 10-1 on the season.
In Flight B action, three Quinnipiac teams took the court but unfortunately couldn't advance past the round of 16. Ariana Launie (Milton, Mass.) and Daniella Reyes (Bur Ridge, Ill.) defeated Kelly Daniel (Army) and Destiny Grunin (Fordham), 8-5, before falling to teammates from Army, 8-1. Mary Chupa (Bradenton, Fla.) and Michelle Dassa (Marlboro, N.J.) also picked up a win against a pairing from UConn, 8-5, but then fell to an Illinois' tandem of Emily Barretta and Julia Jamieson, 8-3, in the second round. Nicole Keklik (Stratford, Conn.) was the final Bobcat in action, as she formed a team with Albany's Mireille Hermans. They suffered an 8-5 loss to Army.
In addition to doubles play, the first round of singles competition got underway in West Point as well. Raynor, Horton, Young and Kelsi Oliphant (Calgary, Alberta) each earned byes through the first round, but four others – Dzulynsky, Launie, Keklik and Reyes – moved on with victories. Dzulynsky defeated Albany's Rocio Lopez, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 10-8; Launie defeated Seton Hall's Madison Shoemaker, 6-4, 6-2; Keklik topped Bryant's Jenna LaBarre, 6-3, 6-1; and Reyes knocked off Sacred Heart's Lauren Rodriguez, 6-2, 6-1.
The Army Invite continues tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. Main draw matches will be held at the outdoor Malek Courts while consolation matches will continue at the indoor Lichtenberg Tennis Center.
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