WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Western Carolina tennis team travelled to Winston-Salem, N.C., this past weekend to compete in the Wake Forest Invitational against some very strong competition. Freshman Jordyn King and junior Alexa Webb each advanced to the finals of their singles draw while junior Savannah Taranto rebounded from an early loss to win the back draw of her bracket.
"Overall I am really pleased with our performance this weekend," said head coach Michaela Kissell-Eddins. "The thing I'm mostly pleased about is how mentally tough our girls were when things got tight. Every match we won was against a very high level opponent and honestly they could've gone either way. On the first day of the tournament alone four of the five singles matches we played went the distance to three sets. To come away the victor in the majority of the matches we played was a huge effort from our girls physically and mentally and in both areas we are continually getting better. I'm excited about how each of their games are progressing this fall and I look forward to seeing them compete in our last event of the semester at Wofford."
King began her weekend with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Rocio Safont from Charlotte in the D1 singles draw. She then faced Diane Flament from James Madison in the semifinals of the bracket and took down her opponent 6-3, 6-0. In the finals she faced Alexa Abele of Davidson who won the draw with a 6-0, 6-1 win.
Webb competed in the G2 singles draw where she started her tournament with a come from behind 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Meghan King of Kansas State. She then took down Elizabeth Baker from Virginia with a 6-3, 7-5 decision which sent her to the final against Amalie Davidsen of UNC Asheville. Davidsen claimed the title match with a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
Taranto fell in her opening match to Dylan Owens of James Madison, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, but the junior responded by winning two matches to claim the back draw title. She began with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Alya Mourad of Winthrop and then sealed the comeback with a 6-3, 7-6 (3) decision over Ally Sexton of Davidson.
Sophomore Lauren McCall started her weekend out string with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5) hard-fought victory over Michaela Kluska of James Madison in the opening match of the G1 singles flight. McCall then fell to McKenzie Collins of Virginia Tech 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals to drop to the third place match. McCall took third after Adrienne Haynes of Richmond had to drop out of the tournament.
Sophomore Jordan Strickland also started strong with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 come from behind victory over Annija Veinsteina of East Carolina in the C2 singles draw. Strickland then fell to Lea Owens of Richmond, 6-1, 6-3 which sent her to the third place match. Strickland faced Emma Petersen of James Madison who took the third place match 6-2, 6-3 to give Strickland fourth in the draw.
Freshman Carli Deehr was limited due to an injury but picked up a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Ana Marhuenda of Marshall.
In doubles, Taranto and Strickland teamed up to play in the B doubles flight. The pair opened play with an 8-7 (1) victory over a duo from Appalachian State. The two then fell to the Wake Forest squad 8-3. The duo would finish their weekend with a 8-3 win over a team from Liberty.
McCall and King got off to a strong start in the C doubles flight as they pair knocked off a team from Wake Forest 8-3. They then fell to a Davidson team 8-6 before dropping their final match to Appalachian State 8-7 (3).
Webb and Deehr were WCU's third doubles squad and fell in their opening match 8-6 to an Appalachian State duo. The pair then rattled off 8-1 and 8-7 (5) victories over a pair of UNC Asheville pairs.
The Catamounts will begin preparations for their final fall tournament of the season which takes place Oct. 27-29 in Spartanburg, S.C., as part of the Wofford Invite.