Tennis teams thrive at ITAs
During this week’s men’s and women’s ITA Atlantic Regional tennis tournaments — held in Charlottesville and Blacksburg, respectively — freshman Harrison Richmond defeated teammate senior captain Jarmere Jenkins in men’s singles. Junior Li Xi finished runner-up in the women’s singles competition. In doubles play, the men’s duo of junior Justin Shane and senior Julen Uriguen and the women’s tandem of senior Erin Vierra and freshman Maci Epstein both finished as runners-up.
Entering the tournament as the No. 7 seed, Richmond claimed his first tournament championship as a Cavalier with a 6-4, 7-5 victory in Tuesday’s final against top seed Jenkins. Before Tuesday’s match, Jenkins and Richmond had each dropped just one set in the entire tournament. With the win, the fifth by a Cavalier at the tournament in the last six years, Richmond earned an automatic qualifying spot in November’s ITA National Intercollegiate Indoors singles field along with teammates junior Alex Domijan and freshman Mac Styslinger.
Shane and Uriguen, the second-seeded squad in the doubles draw, fell to Andreas Bjerrehus and Amerigo Contini of Virginia Tech 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 in the final. Bjerrehus and Contini also vanquished Virginia’s top doubles squad and the No. 1 seed, Domijan and Richmond, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to advance from the semi-final.
Facing off against Penn State No. 1 seed Petra Januskova in Tuesday’s final, No. 2 Xi faltered 6-2, 6-2 to cap an impressive tournament. Meanwhile, Vierra and Epstein were hoping for a victory of their own in doubles after upsetting Januskova and Chelsea Uttin 8-6 in the semifinals. But William & Mary’s Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans outlasted the Cavalier duo 8-2 to prevent the Virginia women from claiming a victory at the tournament. Xi and freshman Stephanie Nauta lost to Belaya and Loomans in the semifinal.
Both squads return to action Nov. 8 for ITA National Indoors in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.