CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina women's tennis team opened its 2017 fall season this past weekend by hosting the WCU Invitational. The Catamounts captured an individual title and a doubles flight over the weekend. Sophomore Lauren McCall won the Purple 4 flight while freshmen Carli Deehr and Jordyn King teamed up to win the Paws 3 doubles flight in their first action as collegiate tennis student-athletes.
McCall was a perfect 3-0 on the weekend as she defeated competitors from Tusculum, Presbyterian and Young Harris. She won each match in just two sets to claim the title. The freshmen went 2-1 in doubles action and ended in a tie with the pair from Tusculum but due to a head-to-head 6-4 victory over the Pioneer duo the Catamounts claimed the flight title.
"I thought we had a really good showing at our home tournament,” said head coach Michaela Kissell-Eddins. “To win two flights was a great accomplishment but more importantly I think we have shaken off some first event nerves and can be really proud of the way we competed as a team. Our freshmen did a great job handling the pressure of their first college event and both got better each match they played. Overall we should be taking a lot of confidence away from how we played and I look forward to build on that this next coming weekend in Asheville."
Junior Savannah Taranto played for the Purple 3 singles flight title being 2-0 going into the last round. She won a pair of third set tiebreaks in her opening two matches to be able to play for the title but she fell in her final match in another third set tiebreak to the flight winner from Presbyterian. She won the opening set 6-3 but fell in the second set 6-1 before eventually dropping the third set 11-9 in a hard fought match.
McCall and sophomore Jordan Strickland teamed up to play in Paws 1 doubles flight and started the tournament with a pair of victories and faced off against Tusculum’s top pair, who also had gone 2-0. The Pioneers took the de facto championship match to claim the flight title, 6-1.
King played in the top singles flight and defeated the eventual champion from Lipscomb on day two but fell in her opening two matches on Saturday. The freshman defeated the top player from Lipscomb 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday.
Deehr dropped a pair of third set tiebreaks on the opening day as she played in the Gold 4 flight but responded on day two with a 7-6 (2), 6-3 victory over a competitor from Young Harris to finish the tournament at 1-2 in singles action.
Strickland went 1-2 in singles action as she competed in the Purple 2 flight. Her lone victory came against a competitor from Young Harris in which she won in nearly flawless fashion 6-2, 6-0.
The Catamounts will now begin preparations for this weekend’s WNC Mountain Challenge hosted by UNC Asheville. Action will take place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24, in Asheville, N.C.