Berkeley, Calif. – BYU’s Leah Heimuli and Kate Cusick Truman advanced to the finals of the ITA Doubles flight at the Cal Fall Invitational over the weekend.
"It was a long two days of rain, cold and wind, but there was no complaining and there was a lot of Cougar spirit and support," said BYU head coach Holly Parkinson Hasler.
"We fought through some great wins this weekend and fell short in some tough battles. Most importantly, we learned a lot and we are determined to return and work even harder."
Day 1 – Friday
Despite rain delays and schedule changes, the Cougars had multiple wins on the first day of the Invitational. Madeline Almeida defeated Pacific’s Maya Lopez in the ITA Gold Singles round of 32 in three sets 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, with delays pushing her next match to Saturday. Emilee Astle also won her match in ITA Gold Singles, besting Saint Mary’s Jordan Harris 7-5, 6-2.
Transfer Leah Heimuli also participated in the Gold Singles pool but lost to UC Davis’ Shirley Hall in straight sets 6-2, 6-0. However, she came out on top in doubles play when she played with teammate Kate Cusick. The duo won in the ITA White doubles match 8-2, advancing to the quarterfinals.
Astle continued her winning streak alongside teammate Polina Malykh in the ITA Gold Doubles bracket, advancing to the quarterfinals after beating Fresno State’s AC Hummel and Georgia Lawson 8-5. Anastasia Abramyan and freshman Helen Jiao also advanced to the ITA Gold Doubles quarterfinal winning 8-4.
In the ITA Blue Singles bracket, Malykh took home the win against SAC’s Jayden Nielsen 6-3, 6-2, while teammates Kate Cusick Truman and Anastasia Abramyan did not advance. Both lost their singles matches in hard-fought three-set matches.
Morgan Hall Curtis, Emma Jewell and Jiao rounded out BYU’s presence in the ITA White Singles matches, but only Jewell advanced after UC Davis opponent Jessica Walker had to default due to an injury. Hall Curtis fell in three sets 4-6, 7-6, 1-0, while Jiao fell in two 7-5, 6-2.
Day 2 - Saturday
Due to the weather, BYU played extra matches on the second day of competition. Almeida and Astle fell to their opponents in the ITA Gold Singles round of 16, with Almeida falling 6-4, 6-3 and Astle playing tough tennis, eventually dropping a hard-fought three-set match 4-6, 7-6, 1-0.
In the ITA Gold Singles consolation matches, Heimuli came out on top in three sets against University of Nevada opponent Carla DelBarrio 7-5, 5-7, 1-0.
In the ITA Gold Doubles quarterfinals, Jiao and Abramyan lost their match 8-2, while teammates Malykh and Astle fell 8-5. Malykh, who was seeded fifth, lost in the Blue Singles round of 16 in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1 after winning her first match in the round of 32.
In the Blue Singles consolation matches, Abramyan beat UC Davis' Nikita Pradeep 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 and teammate Cusick Truman defeated University of San Diego's Katharina Kukras 6-3, 6-3. Cusick Truman did not play in the quarterfinals due to the University's no Sunday Play rule. Abramyan ended up losing in the quarterfinals in straight sets 7-5, 5-5.
Jewell had a good showing in her first tournament as a Cougar when she beat Southern California's Linsey Pesqueria in the ITA White Singles round of 16, 6-2, 6-3, but wasn't able to play in the quarterfinals because it was played on Sunday. The ITA White Singles consolation match had a similar outcome for BYU's Jiao. She won her first match 7-6, 6-4, but fell in the quarterfinals in two sets 7-6, 2-0.
In the ITA White doubles quarterfinals, however, the Cougars were victorious after Cusick Truman and Heimuli won back-to-back doubles matches. The duo defeated the University of San Diego's Jessi Muljat and Maria Tyrina 8-4 in the quarterfinals. They then beat the University of Nevada's Ksenia Shikanova and Selina Turulja in the semifinals 8-2.
BYU will now prepare for the ITA Regional Championships that begin on October 23rd.
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