Sydney Zenger | Posted: 29 Sep 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU women's tennis finishes strong at the Cal Fall Invitational

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Berkeley, Cal. – BYU's Madeline Almeida advanced to the semifinals of the ITA Gold Singles and Taylah Beckman and Samantha Smith moved on to the finals of the ITA Blue Doubles at the Cal Fall Invitational, this weekend. The event was hosted by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).

DAY 1 - Friday

Madeline Almeida advanced to and won in the Round of 16 Gold Singles Division on Friday. BYU also advanced in ITA Gold Doubles play with a victory by Taylah Beckman and Samantha Smith.

Beckman and Smith, who were seeded first, took an 8-5 victory against Nevada’s Kristina Lagoda and Melissa Hutchet. Katie Fitt and Hermehr Kaur also seized a victory at 8-5 while playing UC Davis’ Jessica Walker and Mikita Pradeep.

Almeida, who was seeded fourth in Gold Singles, took her first victory against Cal Poly’s Susanne Boyden, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. She then clinched another victory in the Round of 16 against UC Santa Barbara’s Lisa Sentenac, 6-3, 6-2.

Polina Malykh also won her first match of the day when she played UC Davis’ Nikita Pradeep, 6-1, 7-6(9); however, she lost in the Round of 16 to Cal’s Olivia Hauger 2-6, 1-6.

Two Cougars fell to opponents in the first round of ITA Blue Singles. Anastasia Abramyan, who was seeded seventh, lost to Fresno State’s Ella Husrefovic 4-6, 4-6; she also lost her consolation match to San Francisco’s Mya Bui 4-6, 1-6. Smith lost her first match of the tournament in three sets 6-0, 2-6, 2-6.

In the ITA Gold Singles, two Cougars also lost their matches in the first round. Fitt was defeated 4-6, 3-6 by UC Davis’ Shirley Hall despite winning her next match against Saint Mary’s Liesl Peters 6-2, 2-6, 1-0 (7). Kaur lost in the Round of 16 3-6, 2-6 against University of San Francisco’s Rita Colyer after a bye match.

BYU also suffered losses in ITA Blue Doubles play. Kate Cusick and Almeida lost 5-8 against Sacramento State’s Maria Gonzalez and Sofi Wicker. Abramyan and Malykh fell against UC Davis’ Isabella VonEbbe and Kelsie Bryant 6-8.

DAY 2 - Saturday

Almeida clinched another win in the ITA Gold Singles, advancing to the semifinals. Beckman and Smith also came out victorious in the ITA Blue Doubles and got placed in the finals.

“It’s been a great weekend and I’m excited for the future of BYU women’s tennis,” BYU head coach Holly Parkinson Hasler said. “New coaches bring a lot of change and a whole new perspective on work ethic, court presence and dedication to the team and sport. The girls are fearlessly taking the challenge.”

Almeida won her match 6-0, 6-2 against Nevada’s Maria Tatarnikova but had to default in the semifinals because BYU does not compete on Sunday.

Beckman and Smith took an 8-6 win in gold doubles quarterfinals while playing Saint Mary’s Aubane Ville and Jorrdan Harris. The Cougars also won semifinals against UC Davis’ Sara Tsukamoto and Shirley Hall 8-1. The win advanced the duo to the final round, but Beckman and Smith defaulted due to BYU's policy of not competing on Sunday. In the Gold Singles consolation, Fitt defeated Shannah DosSantos from San Francisco after she withdrew due to an injury.

Smith and Abramyan both suffered losses in Blue Singles consolation matches on Saturday. Smith lost 2-6, 3-6 against UC Santa Barbara’s Tiffany Lagarde while Abramyan fought hard in a third set tie breaker but came out short 6-0, 6-7, 7-10 against Santa Clara’s Jamie Schroer.

The Cougars also fell in Gold Doubles, when Fitt and Kaur lost 2-8 against Nevada’s Anastasia Gorbecheva and Maria Tatarnikova.

Meanwhile, BYU also fell in two blue doubles matches. Cusick and Almeida lost to UC Santa Barbara’s Stephanie Yamada and Tiffany Lagarde 4-8. After Abramyan and Malykh won 8-1 in their first match of Blue Doubles consolations against Santa Clara’s Jamie Shroer and Maddie Pothoff, they lost the next match 2-8 against Cal’s Alexis Nelson and Anna Bright.

The Cougars will travel to the ITA Regional Championships next week, beginning October 11 in Las Vegas.

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