INDIANAPOLIS - The 21st-ranked Marian University women's tennis team stepped out of dual match play to take part in the 2013 ITA Midwest Regional Championships over the weekend at Orchard Hills and Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Seven Knights took part in the tournament and had a strong showing.
"Overall, I think we did a good job," said head coach Cassie Mackell
. "The ladies played well and I can't ask for much more from them in this tournament. Brittney did a great job and the Potter's were great until the last match. It's a lot of tennis for anyone to play and it's grueling. But, we battled through and I think we now know how we stack up against good competition in the Midwest."
Senior Brittney Horlacher
led the way for the Knights as she earned a berth in the semifinals of the tournament's main draw. She defeated Indiana Tech's Anabell Cordero (6-1, 6-1) and Taylor's Katherine Marquez (6-0, 1-6, 10-3) on Thursday to earn a spot in the tournament's third round on Friday. She defeated Kristi Kuzdal of Davenport University (6-3, 6-2) to advance to the quarterfinals where she defeated Northwestern Ohio's Kate Bondarenko (6-3, 5-7, 10-5) to move into the semifinals on Saturday. However, her run came to an end in the semis to Davenport's Emily Spiech, the eventual champion, in a 2-6, 3-6 defeat. For the week, Horlacher went 4-1 and moved her record to 8-2 on the season in singles competition.
Junior Hannah Knust
, who was making her first appearance at the tournament, earned a 6-1, 6-2 win over Davenport's Marcie Kooyers to open the tourney and moved to Friday's third round with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Aquinas' Marjeanne Bothma. Knust defeated Indiana Wesleyan's Kristen Futrell, 6-2, 5-7, 10-4, in the quarterfinals on Friday before falling to Aquinas' Lauren Ramey (2-6, 1-6) in the quarterfinals. Her first appearance yielded a 3-1 record and moved her season record to 8-1 in singles play.
Freshman Grace Neathery
, appearing in her first ITA tournament, also had a strong performance. A late addition to the roster by head coach Cassie Mackell
, Neathery made her first appearance count with an opening round win over Taylor's Rachel Kammer (6-4, 6-2). She advanced to Friday's rounds with a 1-6, 6-2, 10-8 win over Indiana Wesleyan's Kim Mella before falling to Davenport's Alyssa Fuentes (0-6, 0-6) in the third round on Friday. She is now 6-1 on the season.
Senior Lauren Paras
turned in a 1-2 record at the tournament after she fell to Northwestern Ohio's Andrea Arango (3-6, 2-6) in the first round of the main draw. She earned a win in the first round of the consolation draw (1-6, 6-1, 12-10) over Huntington's Celine Rongos, but Indiana Tech's Ana Hernandez knocked Paras out of the tourney with a 6-7 (0-6), 2-6 defeat. Paras is now 6-2 on the year.
Freshman Anna Potter
had a strong run through the consolation bracket after she fell to Indiana wesleyan's Kesley Vessels (6-7 (0-5), 6-7 (0-4)) in the opening round. She defeated Taylor's Kelsey Chow (6-2, 6-2) and the Trojans' Tara Gnagy (6-1, 6-1) before falling to Taylor's Marquez, 4-6, 4-6, in the consolation quarterfinals. She is now 7-2 on the season in singles play.
Junior Sarah Potter
also had a run to the consolation quarterfinals. She fell to Huntington's Cassandra Kasicki (2-6, 4-6) in just her second singles match of the season to open the tournament. She defeated Taylor's Kim Henke (6-2, 6-1) and Indiana Wesleyan's Diane Jones (7-5, 6-1) before having to retire int he second set of the quarterfinals against Davenport's Puck Luttikhuis. She is now 3-2 on the season.
Senior Olivia Pursell
rounded out the singles competition for the Knights after she went 1-1. Pursell defeated Taylor's Cassie Fleming (6-4, 5-7, 10-8) before falling to Davenport's Kristi Kuzdal (6-2, 3-6, 7-10) in the second round. She is now 4-3 on the season.
The Knights had a great run in the doubles competition as well. Horlacher and Knust teamed for a semifinals berth. The duo defeated Aquinas' Kathryn Green and Becca Hurth (8-0) in the first round and won 8-5 over Indiana Wesleyan's Gabby D'Aniello and Mikayla Marazzi to move into the quarters. The team defeated Shaleigh McClintock and Raquel Marques of Northwestern Ohio (8-3) to set up a battle with Indiana Wesleyan's Katie Wilson and Kim Mella. The IWU duo earned a finals berth with an 8-2 win over MU, but Horlacher and Knust went 3-1 in the tournament and moved to 10-2 on the season.
Paras and Pursell earned a berth in the quarterfinals after an 8-3 win over Cornerstone's Heidi Boesl and Ashley Greene as well as an 8-3 win over Northwestern Ohio's Lina Ramos and Xiomara Aguilar in the second round. The duo fell to Davenport's Emily Spiech and Alyssa Fuentes, the eventual champions, by a 4-8 score in the quaterfinals to finish 2-1. The team is now 9-1 on the year.
The Potter sisters also turned in a strong performance. The duo opened with a 6-8 defeat to Indiana Wesleyan's Rachael Heiniger and Kelsey Vessels to head into the consolation draw. They opened with an 8-3 win over Cornerstone's Boesl and Greene before earning an 8-3 win over Taylor's Henke and Marquez to appear in the consolation final. The team ran out of steam in the final as they fell 7-9 to Huntington's Kasicki and Morgan Bemisderfer to finish with a 3-1 record. They are now 5-2 on the season as a duo.
The Knights will get back into dual match action on Tuesday when the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) comes to the MU Tennis Courts for a 1 p.m. first serve. MU will be seeking its sixth straight win to open the 2013-14 season.