Olaya Inclan Solis Reaches Round of 16 at ITA Northeast Regional Championships|
Oct. 25, 2017
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The St. John’s women’s tennis team put together a solid performance at the ITA Northeast Regional Championships presented by Oracle; highlighted by junior Olaya Inclan Solis reaching the round of 16 in the singles tournament and two doubles teams reaching the quarterfinals.
The ITA Regional Championships feature some of the top men's and women's players across the country. Over 8,000 student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, Junior and Community Colleges compete across 85 ITA Regional Championships around the country. The Northeast Regional, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania at the Hemlin/Hect Tennis Centers, consisted of a 32-player qualifying bracket, 128-player singles tournament, and 64 doubles pairs.
Overall, the Red Storm had three student-athletes in the qualifying rounds, one in the singles tournament, and three doubles teams. Throughout the weekend, St. John’s finished with an overall singles record of 3-4, and a doubles record of 8-3.
Stanisz took on the No. 2 seeded Wong from Fordham in her opening match, where the freshman rallied to win the second set, 6-2, to force the third. However, the Jelenia Gora native fell, 6-1, to drop the match.
Also battling a seeded foe, Preotescu gave her opponent all she could handle in a tight, three-set affair. The senior claimed the opening set, 6-4, before dropping the second in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (4). In the third set, Preotescu had to retire the match after falling behind 4-1.
The lone freshman from the Red Storm, Kajsa Stegrell, faced off against a fellow BIG EAST competitor from Seton Hall. The duo went back-and-forth in the opening set before a tight, 7-6 (2) win for Taal. The Pirate was able to sweep the match by also winning the second set, 6-1.
The junior’s first opponent was Dina Hegab of former BIG EAST rival, Syracuse. Solis jumped all over her opponent to quickly earn the sweep, 6-2, 6-4.
With the win, Solis advanced to the second round where Boston College’s Kylie Wilcox was waiting. Wilcox, who received a bye in the opening round, entered the tournament as a seeded opponent in the 9-16 category.
After a tight 7-5 opening set, Solis continued to keep her foot on the gas to claim the second set, 6-2, and picked up the sweep.
The win moved the junior into the Round of 32 to meet another seeded opponent, Marta Kowalska of host Penn who was seeded in the 17-32 category.
Solis dropped the opening set, 6-3, before rebounding with a 6-3 win of her own to force a third set. In the final set, the junior came away with another win to claim the match (3-6, 6-3, 6-4) and play into the round of 16.
This marked the second-consecutive year where a St. John’s player has advanced to at least the round of 16, joining sophomore Jessica Livianu who reached the final last year.
The third-straight seeded player came the junior’s way in the Round of 16 when Solis battled Dartmouth’s Kristina Mathis. Mathis, who was seeded in the 5-8 category, received a bye in the opening round before winning consecutive 6-4, 6-2 matches. Solis was able to hang tough with Mathis during the opening set before the Big Green opponent pulled ahead to win, 7-5. In the second set, Mathis was able to pick up the win and end the run for Solis.
The junior ended her singles tournament with a 3-1 record, but fell just short of qualifying for the ITA National Championships.
All three pairings reached the round of 16, with two reaching the quarterfinals.
Seniors Collins and Stanisz took care of their opening opponent from Bucknell with ease at 8-1 to quickly advance into the second round. There, the duo defeated Cosme/Stearns of Brown, 8-6, to set up their round of 16 matchup with the top-seeded pairing of Wilcox/Urbinati of Boston College. The seniors moved into the quarterfinals with a thrilling 8-7 (4) victory, before finally falling in the quarterfinals.
Jessica Livianu, who has already qualified for the ITA National Championships, competed with freshman Kajsa Stegrell in the doubles competition. The pair picked up a trio of wins over opponents from Army (8-6), Cornell (8-1), and Yale (8-5) to also advance to the quarterfinals. The quarters proved to be a battle of two-seeded pairings as Livianu/Stegrell met the No. 3 seeded Wan/Milstein of Columbia, where the Lions came out victorious in an 8-5 decision.
Reaching the round of 16 as well were Solis and Preotescu, who defeated a pair of hometown opponents from Penn (8-2) and Temple (8-2) before falling to eventual runner-ups and No. 4 seed, Mathis/Lyn from Dartmouth (8-6).
The Red Storm return to action as team in two weeks with a trip to Buffalo, N.Y. for the UB Indoor Invite, while sophomore Jessica Livianu will be competing at the ITA National Championships in Indian Wells, Calif. at the same time.
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