Tennis is nearly perfect in tourney

Daily Trojan file photo

The women’s tennis team had a strong showing this weekend at the Women of Troy Invitational, with a 12-6 record in singles and an 11-0 doubles performance.

The team hosted Loyola Marymount, Oregon, Arizona and Cal State Fullerton at the tournament.

On Friday, singles players included junior Becca Weissmann, junior Angela Kulikov, freshman Danielle Willson, freshman Estella Jaeger and junior Sydney Van Alphen. They faced competition from Cal State Fullerton, a program whose doubles team reached the Big West championship match for the first time in program history last season.

All of them won their matches but Kulikov, who lost to senior Karla Portalatin in the longest match of the day (2-6, 6-3, 10-7). Weissmann had the most dominating first match, winning against sophomore Genevieve Zeidan, 6-0, 6-1.

The USC women’s doubles teams won all of its matches on Friday. The pairings consisted of senior Rianna Valdes/Kulikov, sophomore Alexa Corcoleotes/Van Alphen, Weissmann/junior Constance Branstine and Weissmann/Jaeger. Each doubles match was settled after only one set. Weissman and Jaeger’s win against the team of senior Camila Wesbrooks and senior Taylor Tamblyn was the only match that finished 6-0 on Friday. Valdes and Kulikov played two matches on the day, beating pairs from the Oregon and Arizona.

Kulikov said her summer training helped in this tournament.

“Typically, I play the backhand side, but today we were trying some different partner combinations,” Kulikov said. “For my game I’m a bit of a net player, that’s really my strength, so this summer especially I put a lot of work developing my base line game for doubles.”

The Trojans did not have the same success on Saturday. The Trojans went .500 in singles, winning four of eight matches. Weissmann, Valdes, Willson and Branstine all won; Weissmann had the closest match, narrowly winning 7-6(2), 6-4. The singles players on the losing ends included Jaeger, Van Alphen and Kulikov. Van Alphen struggled on Saturday, losing two single matches against Tamblyn from Arizona and junior Julia Eshet from Oregon.

The Trojans only played three doubles matches and won all three. The winning pairs included Weissmann/Willson, Kulikov/Jaeger and Van Alphen/Corcoleotoes. The teams from Loyola Marymount competed hard against the Women of Troy, as the team of junior Siobhan Anderson and sophomore Eva Marie Voracek lost 7-6(4) to Weissmann/Willson and the team of junior Camila Tumosa and sophomore Yesica De Lucas lost 6-4 against Kulikov/Jaeger.

“We were just trying to put as much pressure as we could on the opponents, and be really aggressive at the net and move our feet as much as we could, just to keep them on their toes,” Willson said.

On the final day of the tournament, the singles team showed resolve, going 4-1 overall. Kulikov suffered USC’s only singles loss of the day, playing in one of the closest games of the tournament, against Loyola Marymount’s Voracek (7-6(5), 6-4). The singles winners were Weissmann, Kulikov, Willson and Jaeger.

“It was a well fought match, I thought I stuck to my game plan really well, executed, and it was fun to be out there competing alongside my teammates,” Weissmann said.

As for the USC women’s doubles teams, Kulikov/Valdes, Weissmann/Willson and Jaeger/Branstine all had fantastic performances to give the Trojans a three-match win over Cal State Fullerton.

The Women of Troy will compete in the ITA Southwest Regional Championships, which will be held in San Diego this Thursday.