Women show improvement in Golden Eagle Classic

The Murray State women’s tennis team had a strong showing in its second tournament of the fall season. The team traveled to Southern Mississippi to compete in the Golden Eagle Halloween Classic.

Freshman Erin Patton won the consolation final in her draw. Freshman Megan Blue, sophomore Carolyn Huerth and junior Carla Suga advanced to consolation finals in each of their respective brackets before losing the next.

Women’s Head Coach Olga Elkin said the team has shown definite improvement from its first match.

“We have a relatively young team and it is very important for us to stay calm on the court,” Elkin said. “They did a lot better this weekend with knowing what to expect and there were great improvements in their game.”

After losing her opening match to Central Arkansas’ player Ana Buyukyan 6-4 and 6-2, Patton won back-to-back matches to win the “Yellow” draw consolation championship. Patton defeated Jacksonville State’s Taylor Lefton 6-1, 6-0 in her first matchup. Patton then defeated , Aleksandra Cmiljic 6-1 and 6-1.

Patton, freshman

“Overall, the competition was pretty high; it was good to see every girl playing better than they did and continue to improve,” Elkin said.

Blue lost her first singles match in the “Orange” Draw to Helene Czudek 6-4 and 6-3. Blue then turned around and beat Southern Mississppi’s Mackenzie Oskin 6-3 and 6-1. In the consolation final, Blue was defeated by Louisiana Monroe’s Justyna Kroll 7-6 and 6-3.

Huerth lost her opening match in the “Red” draw to Carolina Masso. Huerth defeated Emma Pitre in the opening round 7-6 (2) and 6-6-1, before being defeated by Jacksonville State’s Isidora Knezevic in the final 7-6(4) and 6-4.

Suga lost her opening match in the “Blue” Draw to Polina Konop, losing 6-3 and 6-3. Suga defeated Jacksonville State’s Olivia Nyugen 6-1 and 6-1 in the consolation bracket before being defeated by Louisiana Lafayette’s Nicole Breaux in a nail-biting set of 5-7, 7-6(4), and 10-5.

Senior Ashley Canty won her first round matchup in the “Gold” Draw against Southern Mississippi’s Lauren May 6-2 and 6-2 but was defeated by Jacksonville State’s Raisa Guasti 7-6(3) and 6-2. In the “Purple” draw freshman Suzaan Stotlz lost her first match against Central Arkansas’ Bianca Strukelj 6-3 and 6-0 and was defeated by Southeast Louisiana’s Isa Brita 6-3 and 6-1 in the consolation bracket.

“Having the support of your teammates can mean the difference between winning and losing a match,” Elkin said. “The individual aspect of tennis makes it a difficult sport. It has been a priority with us (the staff and team) to do more of team building activities and get our relationships with each other ‘right.”’ The Racers had a strong showing in doubles play. Blue and Canty cruised to the consolation championship and won matches 8-5 and 8-4 to take home the bracket. Huerth and Stotlz lost their doubles match.

Patton and Suga won their first match 8-2 before losing in the second round to Mayagorita and Dashutina 8-4.

Elkin has high hopes for the rest of the fall schedule and upcoming spring season.

“I just want to see the girls continue to improve and to keep coming together as a team,” said Elkin. “We’ll continue moving forward and hopefully get some wins under our belt.”

The Racers return to action November 2-4, 2012 as they travel to Arkansas for the Arkansas State University Tournament.

Story by Laura Kovarik, Staff writer.