Penn’s women’s tennis team blew the competition away at the Columbia Invitational in Flushing, NY The event, which ran Friday through Sunday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, hosted many schools, including Columbia host Penn, Charlotte, Cornell, Wisconsin, Maryland, Long Island University, Hofstra, Saint John’s, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Syracuse, and Yale. The competition featured a single and doubles double elimination brackets tournament.
The Quakers’ victories have come from a range of players on the team, from senior Iuliia Bryzgalova to rookie Sabine Rutlauka. Bryzgalova and Rutlauka were two of Penn’s three singles title winners, with first-year Saige Roshkoff being the third Quaker to win in her category. Bryzgalova was the champion of the group “Manhattan”, beating Alina Mukhortova of Wisconsin, Akanksha Bhan of Columbia and Jessie Gong of Yale.
Rutlauka performed impressively on his college debut and won his first college title in the “Brooklyn” category. It has overtaken its competitors to make a clean sweep. She beat Caroline Dunleavy of Yale and Melissa Sakar of Columbia in straight sets en route to the final. Beating Charlotte’s Margaux Maquet was her ticket to her first game, which she did in straight sets.
In doubles, Rutlauka also teamed up with junior Amanda Chan to win her second prize of the weekend in doubles A against pairs from Charlotte, Syracuse and Columbia.
Roshkoff also showed his skill and defeated his own trio of competitors to win his “Rochester” bracket. Her first victory came over Columbia’s Catie Sullivan in straight sets. She then defeated LIU’s Bianca Compuesto in straight sets as well. Finally, the rookie’s last victory came against Columbia’s Michelle Xu. After Roshkoff won the first set, the referee called for an abandoned game in the second set and she won the support of Rochester.
In addition to receiving numerous bracket titles, some Quakers were finalists in their brackets, including Chan and sophomore Iris Gallo. In the “Buffalo” bracket, Gallo beat Sandra Dzhambazov of NJIT and Deniz Soyer of Hofstra, but fell to Shivani Amineni of Columbia in straight sets. In her own installment of “Staten Island,” Chan sent both Columbia’s Jennifer Kerr and NJIT’s Amira Badawi in straight sets.
In doubles, the Rouge et Bleu surpassed their competition not only by winning events, but also filling the semi-finalist and finalist places in the standings.
Bryzgalova’s pair and rookie Eilieen Wang were semi-finalists in the double A after beating the Yale duo of Mirabelle Brettkelly and Dunleavy, but fell to Columbia’s Julia Haynes and Sasha Wood.
Semifinalist awards were also presented to the team of freshmen Sonia Maheshwari – who was a semi-finalist in the “Buffalo” category – and Gavriella Smith. The underclasses demonstrated their skills and perseverance in the Double C in their superb game against Yesica De Lucas and Jayden Nielsen of St. John’s, but were beaten in a very close game against Amineni and Kerr of Columbia.
Finally, the pair of Gallo and Roshkoff were finalists in the double D, as they overcame their tough competition with Bianca Compuesto and Elinor Storkaas of LIU and Mary Brumfield and Francesca Feodorov of Miami, but they ultimately fell to Brodsky and Strugnell of Columbia.
After this strong performance in New York, the Quakers will return home and train for the Cissie Leary Invitational, which will be played September 24-26.