Women’s tennis tally wins on the road at Wildcat Invitational

October 14, 2010


By Eric Woodyard
Western Herald

Most women’s tennis programs would have been satisfied with compiling 15 combined victories in both singles and doubles over a three-day period while facing stiff competition on the road.

For the Western Michigan University women’s tennis team, this was just another day in the office.

“We trying to just improve right now, we don’t feel like beating those people was anything special,” Bronco head coach Betsy Kuhle said.

“We belong with the Minnesota’s and the Michigan State’s and the Iowa’s.

We like competing well with them and the last time we played Michigan State we beat them and the last time we played Minnesota we beat them so it’s not like we’re using that as some great stepping stone, we’re more concerned with how we’re playing and not necessarily who we’re playing.”

The Broncos earned their victories by travelling to Northwestern University last weekend for the Wildcat Invitational at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center.

There were teams from DePaul University, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, University of Oklahoma, Michigan State University, Louisiana State University, University of South Carolina and University of Illinois-Chicago all participating in the tournament.

The Broncos began their onslaught on Friday when they attained seven combined wins. In doubles, two teams (Rachel Denny/April Kerr and Maria Nivia/Jill Pastunink) advanced to the championship rounds of their flights.

They also picked up three singles wins when Nini Sujashvili, Miloslava Shustova, and Jill Pastunink all opened with victories.

On Saturday, the team won the Flight B doubles championship when Nivia and Pastunink defeated Anya Morgina and Katherina Popova of South Carolina, 8-5.

Senior Amanda Moccia and sophomore Maggie Remynse also won a doubles consolation over Michigan State, 8-3.

The Broncos wrapped up the tournament on Sunday with the team earning three more wins in singles.

Sujashvili defeated Peta Lancaster of Oklahoma, 6-2 and 6-4.

Nivia won 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 over Katarina Lingl of Michigan State.

Pastunink defeated Cali Gustafson of DePaul 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.

The leaders for the Brown and Gold for the weekend were Nivia, Pastunink and Sujashvili who all had 2-2 singles records.

“We’re competing extremely hard and getting better every weekend and I was particularly happy with their level of competition and how hard we competed,” Kuhle said.

“This weekend I would say that everybody was really good [but] I think Maria Nivia and Jill Pastunink really showed some promise in their doubles.”

Nivia is a junior from Cali, Colombia who attended La Arboleia School prior to joining the Broncos.

Pastunink is a sophomore from Zeeland, Mich. who attended Zeeland West High School before coming to WMU.

The team will pick back up action on Oct. 21 when they take a trip to Ann Arbor for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest Regional with hopes of moving one step closer to their ultimate goal.

“We’re making a lot of progress and we do everything in hopes for trying to bring home a MAC Championship, that’s our goal,” Kuhle said.

“So I think we’re making the right moves and we’re doing all we need to do.”


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