For sophomore Carnegie Mellon tennis star Amy Staloch, this
past weekend?s regional Intercollegiate Tennis Association tournament was supposed to be her chance to validate her number four national singles ranking and overall number one seeding in the region. But, after a severe eye infection forced her to default in the quarterfinals, that chance will have to wait until next year.
Despite Staloch?s injury, the Tartans did manage to salvage some good results from the tournament. Freshman Sheena David was especially impressive, winning four matches on her way to the quarterfinals. Alison Liu, the team?s lone senior and the tournament?s 11th seed, also made some headway in the draw, overcoming an opening round upset loss to make it all the way to the finals of the consolation bracket.
The results bode well for Carnegie Mellon, which looks to replace two starters from last year?s 15th?ranked team. Assistant coach Kevin Girard was especially pleased with the results, saying, ?Overall it was a great tournament for us. Amy?s injury was unfortunate but we are very excited about the results, it shows that we are one of the top couple of teams in the region.?
Sophomore Samantha Schultz, who fell in the first round, echoed these sentiments saying, ?We did really good. I think we proved that we?re right behind Washington & Lee as the second best team in the tournament. I had a tough tournament, but playing people that good is really tough and its amazing how well everyone else did.?
The doubles draw of the tournament was especially tough for the Tartans. Besides losing Staloch, the 15th?ranked doubles player in the country, CMU was also without Junior Mona Iyer, Staloch?s doubles partner from a year ago who is taking the fall off to focus on her academics. The team of Schultz and Kelly Nakamura lost in the first round to the tournament?s top-seeded team. Mai Otsuka and Liu managed the most successful doubles run, squeezing by their first round match 8?6 and making it all the way to the third round ? an especially impressive result considering the team was unseeded entering the tournament.
Both Kevin Girard and head coach Andrew Girard were pleased with the results. Kevin Girard said, ?It shows a lot of depth that we were able to win some matches even without our number one team. During the year that?s going to be important for us to win those matches at number two and number three doubles, especially against the top teams.?
Andrew Girard echoed these sentiments, saying, ?It was a great tournament for us. Two of our freshmen beat ranked players in singles and everybody pretty much won at least the matches they were supposed to.?
Carnegie Mellon next turns its attention to its September 27 match against West Liberty State. They end their fall season with the Washington & Lee Invitational on October 7. The Tartans will look to avenge last season?s loss in the NCAA tournament second round, when the team was blanked by the Generals 6?0. CMU is 1?0 for the year in team play and does not begin the bulk of the team schedule until the spring season.